NOTE: This article was first posted in September 2010, but continues to receive a high amount of traffic as malicious scammers continue to use the story of a girl killing herself to spread their campaigns across Facebook. The scams use a variety of techniques and variations of the disguises to maximise their chances of tricking people into taking surveys or handing over personal information.
Be sure to join the Sophos group on Facebook to learn about the many different scams which are spreading, and share warnings with your online friends.
And now back to the original article from September 2010..
For a few days we've been monitoring a new spin on a Facebook scam, that claims a girl killed herself on Christmas Eve after her dad posted a message on her wall. Before we've documented both the related hoax warnings spread on Facebook, as well as scam pages that popped up trying to trick users into "liking" them, and the truth about the real woman's death that has been exploited by heartless cybercriminals.
The latest scam is spreading virally, tricking users into liking pages which claim to offer you access to the "horrific wall post" that allegedly made a girl kill herself on Christmas Eve.
Girl killed herself, after her dad posted This to her Wall
If you click on the link then you are taken to a Facebook page which says you have to like it in order to view the father's alleged message. In some cases, the page will use clickjacking techniques to trick you into sharing the page as a status update with your online friends. In others it will trick you into granting permission for a third-party application to post to your Facebook wall. But the end result is the same - you'll be directed to a webpage which asks you to complete a survey.
And that's what makes money for the scammers who create these pages.
So all that needs to be done is for Facebook to clean up the offending pages, educate their users about these types of scams, and police the community better in future to stop yet more scams popping up.
A quick search on Facebook found these "girl killed herself" pages popping up like mushrooms on the site.
Come on Facebook, can't you get a handle on this?
If you believe you may have been hit by this attack, view the recent activity on your news feed and delete entries related to the above links. Furthermore, you should view your profile, click on your Info tab and remove any of the pages from your "Likes and interests" section.
You should also check which third party applications you have allowed to access your profile, and revoke the rights of anything suspicious via Account/ Privacy Settings/ Applications and Websites. If you don't do this, you could be hit time and time again..
Here's a YouTube video where I show you how to clean-up your Facebook account:
(Enjoy this video? You can check out more on the SophosLabs YouTube channel and subscribe if you like)
If you want to learn more about security threats on the social network and elsewhere on the internet, join the Sophos Facebook page.
You could also do a lot worse than check out our best practices for better privacy and security on Facebook guide.