Millions of Facebook users invited to scam events, as spammers exploit social network

Filed Under: Facebook, Social networks, Spam

Spammers have invited millions of Facebook users to bogus events on the social network, in their latest attempt to generate income from online survey scams.

Sophos researchers have discovered bogus events, promoting revenue-generating scams that put cash into the pockets of the spammers, that have targeted - in some cases - over 10 million Facebook users.

Facebook scam event

For instance, an event called "Who blocked you from his friend list ?" has already tricked over 165,000 people into signing-up, with a staggering 10.3 million users still debating whether to respond or not.

Facebook scam event

The scammers embed instructions into the "More info" section of the event's summary, which leads the unsuspecting Facebook user into visiting webpages designed to earn money for those behind the scheme.

Facebook survey scam

How do the scammers earn money? By tricking you into taking an online survey or competition, the masterminds behind the scam generate commission. In some instances they also ask for your mobile phone number and then sign you up for an expensive premium rate service.

These spammed-out event invitations and links to survey scams are one of the biggest nuisances on Facebook right now, impacting millions of users every day.

Here's another example of a scam Facebook event, using the all-too-familiar lure of a shocking video to trick you into accepting the invitation:

Facebook scam event

It would be great if Facebook was being more proactive in shutting down these obviously bogus events, as currently it's far too easy for the scammers to fill their pockets through schemes like this.

If you're a Facebook user, remember never to accept invitations from suspicious events that arrive out-of-the-blue, and always think twice about the links that you click on via Facebook.

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 70,000 people regularly share information on threats and discuss the latest security news.

You could also do a lot worse than check out our best practices for better privacy and security on Facebook guide.

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5 Responses to Millions of Facebook users invited to scam events, as spammers exploit social network

  1. Ivan Thomas · 1614 days ago

    is scamming illegal?
    if it is illegal then surely the beneficiaries should be prosecuted and if it isn't illegal then it bloody well should be!

  2. Chompy · 1610 days ago

    What make sme laugh is when I try to share this on FaceBook I get the message "This message contains blocked content that has previously been flagged as abusive or spammy."

    • Herumph. :-( Sounds like maybe Facebook is false alarming. They really need to get better at blocking the bad stuff, and not blocking the anti-bad stuff.

  3. Fred Woloszynek · 1606 days ago

    Is there a BLOCK PHP option on Events like there is on Apps.

    For Example: I post block options to Facebook Friends.

    01. Enormous Tongue!

    I would like to also post block option for events like 500 Credits Event

  4. Reef · 137 days ago

    9229 jobs. 156 campaigns at 10$ a pop. It adds up. Beat that hot shot!

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About the author

Graham Cluley runs his own award-winning computer security blog at, 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