OMG! Kid expelled from his school? No, it's a viral Facebook survey scam

Filed Under: Facebook, Social networks, Spam

Yet another survey scam is spreading virally across Facebook, earning revenue for the con artists behind it.

You may well be one of the thousands of people who have seen messages like this posted by one of your Facebook friends.

OMG! Look What this Kid did to his School after being Expelled! After this 11 year old child was expelled from his school he went beserk

OMG! Look What this Kid did to his School after being Expelled!
After this 11 year old child was expelled from his school he went beserk

If so, please resist the urge to click on it - and instead warn your Facebook friend that they have fallen foul of a scammer.

If you do make the mistake of clicking on the link you will be taken to a third party website which does its best to pretend to be a legitimate Facebook page.

Kid expelled from school webpage

Like many other scams we see on Facebook, the webpage encourages you to "Like" it and share the news with your the rest of your Facebook social circle. In this way, the scammers are tricking you into helping them spread their message virally across the network.

You will be prompted to share the page with your Facebook friends

Once you've shared their message, you may believe that you are about to see the content you were initially interested in - you were, after all, promised details of an 11 year old child who went beserk after being expelled from school.

What actually occurs, however, is that you will be presented with a survey - demanding that you complete it before seeing anymore. The survey earns money for the scammers, they get a commission for every survey completed. And that's why they're spreading this message virally across Facebook.

The page asks you to complete a revenue-generating survey

According to bit.ly's statistics, over 50,000 people have already clicked on the link - so you can imagine just how much money could be made through a simple scam like this.

Bit.ly statistics of visitors to the page

If you've been hit by a scam like this, remove references to it from your newsfeed, and edit your profile to remove any unauthorised pages from your "Likes and interests".

Remove the page from your list of likes

On Facebook and want to learn more about security threats on the social network and elsewhere on the internet? My recommendation is to join the Sophos Facebook page.

Do you think Facebook is doing enough to stamp out survey scams like this, or is it the fault of the Facebook users themselves? Let us know what you think by leaving a comment below.

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13 Responses to OMG! Kid expelled from his school? No, it's a viral Facebook survey scam

  1. Cande Puerto Rico · 1421 days ago

    This kind of scam is spreading in the Spanish community so fast with a Spanish message. And there's no one concerning on people that don't understand English and have the same kind of spam with a Spanish version. I always inform all my contacts with your news, but i can get the same amount of people as you can get. I'm very proud with the job your having informing people, of this simple things that can grow and could harm in a near future.

    • Hey Cande, if you want to reply up here with the text being used in the Spanish version of the message then at least some folks might find this page via a search engine.

      Cheers

  2. mpcrider · 1421 days ago

    Sophos follows up a story about survey spam by asking you to take a survey. Yes, on the Sophos.com domain but still.

    Also doesn't reveal what the kid did (turns out there is no answer, but still) http://answers.yahoo.com/question/index?qid=20100...

  3. Shane · 1342 days ago

    I think Facebook needs to be held accountable for this sort of thing. What happened to due diligence?

  4. kayvaan · 1305 days ago

    I stupidly clicked on this thing (social engineering!) and not only did it encourage me to like it, but it AUTOMATICALLY liked the page on my behalf. I had to go manually unlike it. It's not just a scam, it's a virus.

    • mel · 1233 days ago

      so did i!!! but i closed the new page that popped up straight away =D

  5. Natasha · 1229 days ago

    Facebook does s@$@ to stop scams.

  6. amanda · 1229 days ago

    i got hit with one of these the other day.. it was something to do with a girl being hated so bad this other person wanted her dead.. i clicked on the *Ignore this application* & it sent it to everyone on my friends list.. i was not happy at all..

  7. Brenda · 1229 days ago

    We need to police ourselves and stop expecting someone else to do it for us. Part of what I like about FB is the ability to do what I want, including posting videos, links, etc. The only way they can stop the scams is stop it all. And of course, we don't want that, so we???

  8. Erik · 1229 days ago

    Graham,
    How much money do these scams bring in? You said that they had about 54,000 click throughs but how much does that translate too? Is it a $0.01 for each click?
    Love your column and recommend it to all my friends.

  9. Shay · 1229 days ago

    Once I got on my facebook page only to see this post about this girl whos dad wrote this horrible message about her on her wall. I didn't know it was a scam and was just eager to read it. But I was confused when it said I posted this on my friends pages. I had never seen it before. I stupidly wrote it off and clicked on it anyway. That's why I was upset when they wanted me to take a stupid survey which requires me to verify I'm 18 on it too. I didnt take the survey and exited out of it but alot of friends had the same problem. The sad thing is people still aren't realizing this is a scam. I still didn't realize this stuff was fake until I saw this article. I really think it is Facebooks fault for allowing these scamers to get away with it, although it might be our fault for not realizing it after a while. These scammers our making easy cash while there are hard working people trying to make a living barely getting by. It's just wrong.

  10. Anirudh Kapoor · 1228 days ago

    doesnt fb have a system to check new softwares and programs to scan for scams?

  11. @undefined · 703 days ago

    These cons are smart! You got to give them that!

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About the author

Graham Cluley runs his own award-winning computer security blog, and is a veteran of the anti-virus industry having worked for a number of security companies since the early 1990s. Now an independent security analyst, he regularly makes media appearances and gives computer security presentations. Send Graham an email, subscribe to his updates on Facebook, follow him on Twitter and App.net, and circle him on Google Plus for regular updates.