How to clean-up your profile after a Facebook survey scam

Filed Under: Facebook, Rogue applications, Social networks, Spam, Video

Facebook survey scams continue to be a big problem. Just this weekend we estimate that hundreds of thousands of Facebook users have been hit by a resurgence of the "Girl killed herself" scam.

Judging by messages we're receiving from Facebook's users, many people are struggling to clean up their accounts after they were tricked into allowing a third party application to post messages from their profile. Of course, these messages look to your online friends as though you posted them, so it's really important that the problem gets resolved or the scam will just spread more and more virally.

Here's a quick YouTube video where I show you how to clean-up your Facebook account from such an attack:

(Enjoy this video? You can check out more on the SophosLabs YouTube channel and subscribe if you like)

If you don't want to get caught out again, or simply want to learn more about security threats on the social network and elsewhere on the internet, join the Sophos Facebook page.

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6 Responses to How to clean-up your profile after a Facebook survey scam

  1. inda · 1292 days ago

    my goodness, glad i found this after that hoax about
    Facebook the 15th, i got and opened this "girls killed
    herself" scam too..and i didn't really do
    anything other than feel 'tricked' by that! This
    SOPHOS thing is really cool..and i'll check this out
    frequently.. :)

  2. offlab · 1250 days ago

    hi there.. I am a facebook user in Japan and have been one for quite some time. But though FB has been slow in taking off here, many of my japanese friends have started joining FB in recent days. Yet many have also been hit hard with various scams such as the one that you been describing for a while and are pretty freaked out. I have explained to them how to clean up their profiles each time (as you explain so well in above vid) but it seems that every day its someone new. I just wish I could show them the information you have availablebut your Japanese language website remains very corporate and not at all as accessible as your English one (and many of my friends don't read English that well). It's really great that you guys do this and keep us all alert and on our toes... can you please prod your colleagues in Japan to do the same too?

  3. Bill · 1239 days ago

    Here's an app that can't be removed the way you describe:

    I just saw my top stalkers on FB and how many times they view me daily! Gonna be redoing my friends list soon.... Find yours here - http://tiny.cc/mbpue

    There's no way to remove the app, when you click onthe X there's only the option to remove the post.

    That link goes to this page: removed

    Which only contains the following text:
    couldn't determine app

    Any suggestions?

  4. Rogi Equality Riverstone · 1237 days ago

    I love you! A local politician got one on his fb page today, and I knew just what to do to help him! YAY I felt so smart! HEE HEE

  5. david · 1233 days ago

    This sort of threat has morphed to a hidden 'like' button on the a page outside facebook. It posts the link to your profile without asking for permissions. The videos it punts seem to morph from time to time to...

  6. Ralph · 1169 days ago

    Thanks for that info, I have just cleaned out a whole bunch of useless apps.

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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.