Justin Bieber hasn't hit a girl for no reason, it's a Facebook survey scam

Filed Under: Celebrities, Facebook, Social networks, Spam

Millions of girls around the world are fans of teeny-bop pop muppet Justin Bieber - a fact that hasn't gone unnoticed by cybercriminals.

Here's a message I've seen spreading across Facebook:

OH MY GOD!...Justin BIEBER Hits Girl For NO Reason!

OH MY GOD!...Justin BIEBER Hits Girl For NO Reason!
OMG! This Is So Badd! >>> [link] <<<

Is it really likely that the pint-sized pop singer would have hit a girl? I find it unlikely, but if you were a pre-teen fan of Bieber and received this message on Facebook you would probably click first and think later.

Clicking on the link takes you to what poses as a Fox News TV report, showing an image of a young woman and the words "Click here":

Fox News. Click here

Put yourself into the mind of an eleven year old girl. By this time you're in a frenzy to know more, and won't think twice about clicking on and allowing a third party application access to your Facebook profile.

The rogue application will, if you give it permission, be able send you emails, access your friend lists, gather your personal information, and post messages to your wall. Do you really want to allow complete strangers to do that?

Facebook application asks for permission

The scammers behind this scheme, of course, want you to continue undaunted by the warnings. And if you do, you'll be presented with a now familiar CPALead-powered survey, earning revenue every time someone completes a survey.

Please note, you still haven't seen any evidence that Justin Bieber has hit a girl - but maybe younger souls be tempted to complete the surveys in their desire for more information.


What they may not have reckoned on is that behind the scenes, messages are already being posted on your Facebook wall, spreading the survey scam virally even wider across the Facebook social network.

Messages posted on Facebook users' wall

Curiously, in this instance they were no longer using Justin Bieber as bait - a helpful reminder that the scammers' campaigns can be many and varied.

If you've been hit by a scam like this, remove references to it from your newsfeed, revoke the right of rogue applications to access your profile via Account/ Privacy Settings/ Applications and Websites, and edit your profile to remove any unauthorised pages from your "Likes and interests".

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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2 Responses to Justin Bieber hasn't hit a girl for no reason, it's a Facebook survey scam

  1. uh. first? it is definately fb users fault imo. yes, these cybercriminals are the ones beginning the problem, but us users perpetuate it by endorsing thier activities with our 'likes' etc. thank whomever for pages like ures, so i can search these rediculous pages w/o liking them. it is interesting stf tho, even if it is fake. so honestly im cool wit it. lol (after reading ur article i find it funny u want me to agree with ure terms an watnot to submit my fb based comment lmao)

  2. Maybe someone should hit Justin Bieber for no reason . . . just saying, y'know . . .

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About the author

Graham Cluley runs his own award-winning computer security blog at https://grahamcluley.com, 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. Follow him on Twitter at @gcluley