Beware of Facebook Chat-Jacking Scams
By on March 30th, 2011

How would you like it if someone was pretending to be you, so that they could rip off your friends? Yesterday, Keith warned us about the Photoshop scam at Facebook, I’ve decided to fill you in on some of the details about this type of  Facebook scam.  So what is Chat-Jacking and why should you care?

What is Chat-Jacking?

While in Facebook, you might get a message from a friend that goes something like this:

  • haha wow, have you seen this pic you were tagged in yet? LOL
  • Hey, I just made a photoshop of you
  • funny, have you seen this pic you are tagged in! wow lmao
  • OMG Did You See This Picture and Video you were tagged in?
  • Wow, have you seen this video you were tagged in yet?
  • Hi there, i just tagged you in this pic bit.ly :D:D Let me know if you like it its super sexy
  • Ha, Ha, Ha, have you seen the picture you were just tagged in?
  • have you seen this picture of u??
  • I have your video click here
  • Have you seen this click here to find out
  • omg haha have you seen this photo u got tagged in LOL
  • Hi there, i just tagged you in this pic

There will usually be a short URL with the message. Once you click it, you’ll be asked to authorize a Facebook App.

If you allow the app, next you’ll be taken to a page that tells you to complete a survey before you can see the picture or video that they told you about.

Where’s the Scam?

Surveys are the payday for the scammers.  The surveys provide private information that can be sold. The scammers get paid for every person who fills out a survey. In addition, the survey pages may ask you to download games or other files onto your computer. These could infect your PC with a virus, trojan or other malware.

Whether or not you ever get to see the picture you wanted to see is beside the point. As soon as you clicked the “Allow” button, something even worse was happening behind your back.  This app wanted access to your basic information, but it also wanted access to your Facebook Chat. You allowed the app to post messages in your name, and that’s just what it does. It spams your friends with the same messages that we saw above. This is how these scams spread like a wild fire through Facebook.

What should you do?

In case nobody ever told you, when it comes to Facebook Apps, it’s best to JUST SAY NO, and click the “Don’t Allow” button. There’s also a browser addon called WOT, that can help you stay safer in Facebook and Twitter. A little knowledge and a dose of suspicion are your best defenses. Be sure to read about the LikeJacking scams as well.

[Credit to FaceCrooks and other Scam Warning sites for this information]


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Author: Clif Sipe Google Profile for Clif Sipe
Promoting Freeware and Free information since 2004. Owner of FreewareWiki.com with over 2000 pages of freebies. Please subscribe to my Google Feed or follow me on Twitter @clifnotes.

Clif Sipe has written and can be contacted at clif@techie-buzz.com.

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