Original URL: http://www.theregister.co.uk/2011/01/07/first_status_survey_scam_facebook/

Facebook riddled by 'my first ever status message' scam app

Forgetful narcissists targeted by survey scoundrels

By John Leyden

Posted in Security, 7th January 2011 14:52 GMT

A new survey scam has hoodwinked thousands on Facebook.

Users are being induced into filling out a worthless survey on the false promise of a dubious reward - a reminder of their first ever status message on the social networking website. These false promises appear as status messages from already fooled surfers, touting a rogue application.

Surfers who install the application grant it account privileges – thus allowing it to post from a user's account, a facility used to spam followers of a compromised account with spam come-ons, continuing the infection cycle.

Users who fall victim to the scam are taken to survey websites. Each completed survey gains the time-wasters behind the scam a commission. If previous experience is anything to go by, users might also be induced to sign-up to premium rate text message services of dubious utility.

Net security firm Sophos reports that the first supposed first status message offered by the rogue application is in itself false, simply consisting of a random message with an arbitrary date stamp.

The ruse is the latest in a series of survey scams linked to rogue applications that have become endemic on Facebook over recent months. Previous examples have included a dodgy web application that supposedly allows users to "unlike" something, among various other ruses. The latest scam is noteworthy not because of its basic premise, which is unoriginal, but because it has spread widely in a short period of time since first appearing on Thursday. ®