Zodiac sign survey scam spreading virally on Facebook

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

A scam has spread far and wide across Facebook this weekend, posted on many users' Facebook pages claiming that they have discovered that their zodiac sign has changed.

Zodiac survey scam
Zodiac survey scam

Messages include:

The Zodiac Signs changed in 2011.
I was a [ZODIAC SIGN] now I'm a [ZODIAC SIGN]

Find out your new zodiac sign @ [LINK]

and

OMG They changed the Zodiac Signs !!
I'm now a [ZODIAC SIGN].. (was a [ZODIAC SIGN] before!)
To find yours, use [LINK]

If you make the mistake of clicking on the link shared from your friend's Facebook account, then you are taken to an interim page showing the signs of the zodiac floating in outer space. The page is designed to intrigue you into clicking further to discover your "new zodiac sign".

Zodiac survey scam

The webpage reads:

New Zodiac Signs

Because of the new Astrological Era begun in 2011 the zodiac signs have changed! Find out your new zodiac sign!
Click here to continue

Clicking on the image takes you to an all-too-familiar scene. A rogue third-party Facebook application, which is demanding that you give it access to your Facebook profile. If you do give it permission then the application will be able to grab some of your personal data, as well as post messages to your wall in order to share them virally with your Facebook friends.

Zodiac survey scam

As soon as you press "Allow" don't be surprised that silently, in the background, the app has already posted a message to your wall..

Zodiac survey scam

Meanwhile, you will be asked to complete an online survey, which can make money for the scammers.

Zodiac survey scam

Here's what another version of the survey scam looks like:

Zodiac survey scam

Remember - you should always think twice (and maybe three times!) before allowing an application to access your Facebook profile, as there are many rogue apps designed purely to make money for the scammers and spread their viral schemes to as many users as possible.

Oh, and in case you were wondering, your zodiac sign hasn't changed in 2011. CNN does a good job of debunking the rumour on its website. So there really is no point at all in clicking on a link like the one being spread by the scammers.

Of course, you might be - like me - of the opinion that all talk of astrology and zodiac signs is nonsense. In which case you wouldn't care anyway.

You can find out more about this particular Facebook scam on the Scam Sniper website.

I've made a YouTube video where I show you how to clean-up your Facebook account if you were hit by this, or similar scams on Facebook:

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

Make sure that you stay informed about the latest scams spreading fast across Facebook and other internet attacks. Join the Sophos Facebook page, where more than 50,000 people regularly share information on threats and discuss the latest security news.

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6 Responses to Zodiac sign survey scam spreading virally on Facebook

  1. Carol875 · 1375 days ago

    Good information about the FB scam, but like many, you're citing the CNN opinion article as "fact." (And the whole controversy is really amusing to those of us who've long regarded astrology itself as a scam.)

  2. Fortis Lupus · 1375 days ago

    If I've said it once, I've said it a thousand times... If you're stupid enough to fall for these scams, then you shouldn't be on the internet...

    Remember, if in doubt, check out http://www.facecrooks.com for the latest scams, and to avoid the surveys on "fan pages", look into http://www.bypassfanpages.com

  3. Dean · 1375 days ago

    If anyone is foolish enough to complete a survey titled:
    "Find Out Your New Zodiac Sign based on your Bithday (sic) Date registered on facebook"

    They deserve to be scammed.

  4. me2 · 1374 days ago

    and its those stupid people who are going to go and do the scams like this that get charges from their cell companys and complain about them i see it everyday

  5. Guest · 1374 days ago

    If someone on your friend list falls for all these scams will it be able to take information from everyone on their friend list as well?

  6. T.Anne · 1374 days ago

    I believe if it changed or not really depends on what type of zodiac you determined your sign from, tropical zodiac or the sidereal zodiac. One is based on seasons (wouldn't change) and one stars (would change). However, the scams base themselves on what's hot at the moment - true or not - in hopes someone interested in it will click on it and get taken in. I would hope more people today would realize how many scams are on there - but sadly, there's still many people falling into that trap. The need to make people aware is still high.

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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.