In mid-2012, a Facebook “Account Verification” scam started making the rounds, trying to trick users into completing surveys and installing shady software. Experts warn that these scam are still making the rounds.
“Warning: Announcement from Facebook Verification Team: All profiles must be verified before 15th March 2014 to avoid scams under SOPA and PIPA Act. Verify your Account by steps below,” the scam posts read.
The date has been updated to March 15 and the posts have been redesigned a bit. Other than that, it’s the same old scam.
When users click the “Invite Now” button, presumably to demonstrate that they are the real owners of the account, they’re asked to install a Facebook application, Hoax Slayer reports.
Once it’s installed, the rogue app starts posting messages on the victim’s behalf. In the next phase of the scam, users are asked to click on another link in order to verify their accounts. This is the part where they’re tricked into completing surveys.
The scammers promise all sorts of prizes in exchange for a few clicks and some personal information.
There are two things you must remember. Facebook is not closing “unverified” accounts on March 15. If the company does take this radical decision, you’ll probably learn about it from trusted news sources.
Secondly, no matter how many surveys you complete online, you’re not going to win any prizes – except for cases where the promotion is advertised on a company’s official website or Facebook page.
If you’re a victim of this account verification scam, the first thing you must do is remove the Facebook app and delete all the posts it has published on your behalf.
If you’ve provided your phone number or email address, it’s possible that the scammers will continue to target you, so keep an eye out for any suspicious emails or texts.
If you’ve unwittingly subscribed to a paid mobile service, check out the website on which you’ve entered your number since it likely contains instructions on how to unsubscribe.