The Pink Facebook rogue application and survey scam

Filed Under: Facebook, Social networks, Spam

Pink FacebookThere's just no pleasing Facebook users.

They complain when Facebook decides to change the look of the social network (think, Timeline), and then they want to make pointless cosmetic changes of their own - such as changing Facebook from its traditional blue to a garish pink.

That's the lure being used by some Facebook scams actively spreading across the system right now:

Pink Facebook scam messages

AWESOME!!!
HELLO PINK FACEBOOK!!! and Goodbye BLUE FACEBook!
Switch Your Facebook to 5 Different colors and themes here:
[LINK]

or

AWESOME!
HELLO Pink FACEBOOK!!!
I am able to select from 5 different color themes and change the old blue Facebook! Choose yours now -->
[LINK]

If you visit one of the links purporting to give you access to a different Facebook colour scheme, you'll find an all too familiar story.. a webpage asking you to "verify" (verify what? it doesn't make clear..) before you can receive the ability to change Facebook's colour scheme.

Pink Facebook scam

On this occasion, the scammers want you to grant permission for a rogue application to access your profile, and post messages on your behalf.

Pink Facebook scam

With a rogue application in place, the scammers will be able to use your Facebook profile as a launchpad for spreading their message even further. And they want to spread it far and wide because it leads ultimately to an online survey that earns commission for the bad guys.

Survey scam

The end result of all this is that thousands of people who have given a third party application, written by persons unknown, complete access to their Facebook page. That means they can later use your Facebook account to post spam messages, distribute other money-making scams, steal your personal information, and post in your name.

Victims should remove any posts made by the apps, before their Facebook friends also fall for them, and revoke the app's permission to access their Facebook profile.

This isn't the first time we've seen scams involving turning Facebook pink, of course, but this current attack is extremely widespread. And we've even had reports that it has also appeared using Spanish language.

If you have been hit by scams like this on Facebook, and are struggling to clean-up your profile, here's a YouTube video I made which describes what steps you need to take:

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

Make sure that you keep informed about the latest scams spreading fast across Facebook and other internet attacks. Join the Sophos page on Facebook, where over 160,000 people regularly share information on threats and discuss the latest security news.

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11 Responses to The Pink Facebook rogue application and survey scam

  1. Robert Gracie · 878 days ago

    I can tell its a scam because facebook would not allow anyone to change its Blue and white colour to anything else thats how I know its a scam, Blue and White is facebooks colours and its gonna stay like that

  2. Machin Shin · 878 days ago

    Once again I find myself wondering. Why is it that scammers seem to be more in touch with what the people want than facebook is? All facebook need to do to kill this particular scam once and for all is simply to offer some color customization. Somehow I am willing to bet that is a LOT easier than making that timeline monster that few people actually wanted.

  3. GKS · 878 days ago

    My stepdaughter has kindly "infected" my pc with this nasty pink gunk and it would appear to be affecting my use of public forums other than FB but since she did it from her own FB profile, I can't remove it... or can I? It seems to be tacking a link onto the bottom of my posts, although NOT on FB. Any tips?

  4. Dezri Dean · 877 days ago

    What I would like to know is where does Facebook figure in all this? Are they doing anything at all to stop this kind of crud and the people responsible????

  5. rcdl · 875 days ago

    The pink facebook scam also exist in french for a few days now and it's spreading fast.

  6. icouldbethebatman · 782 days ago

    Resurgence of this one again in Australia, Good work on the article - makes it easy to show people how to clean up and why it's bad.

  7. oldjumpergal · 742 days ago

    thank you very much, was able to get that hideous pink/blue scam off my fb page :)

    • SuNone ofYours · 524 days ago

      how did you get it off? I have "color my facebook" stuck n my puter!!

  8. Joe Jenkins · 671 days ago

    The ability to turn your Facebook page pink is going to be a problem over the next few weeks with Breast Cancer Awareness month almost among us.

  9. I deleted the app without disabling it. It continues to post this event with me as the host. How can I find it to undo it?

  10. JCH · 636 days ago

    Thanks for the article! Just posted it to a friend who's been hit by this in last day or so...it's still out there so be careful!

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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.