October 20, 2011, 1:45 PM — The Apple iPhone 5 may not yet exist – despite what you may have read about a zillion times on the blogosphere – but that hasn’t stopped Facebook scammers from using it to entice the gullible into forking over their personal information, or worse.
Today I found the following charming little message in my Facebook inbox from someone calling herself “Jeannette Tree”:
Clicking the link in that email leads to another Facebook page with a semi literate popup window. That popup will redirect you to a Web site outside of Facebook.
The “New I Phone5 Market Research” [sic] Facebook page is still live as I write this, though the Web page it redirects you to -- luckyi-phone5tester.com – appears to have already been sent to the HTML boneyard. And not a moment too soon.
The site registration info is blocked, but it’s hosted in Russia, so draw your own conclusions. (There are probably legitimate .ru sites on the Web, I just haven’t run into any yet.) At best, sites like this suck down your data via phony giveaways and then sell your info to lead gen companies. Given the Russian pedigree (and the nonexistent product it was hawking), though, I’m betting it was a malware infection site. Just a hunch.
How did I get this email? A little sleuthing turned up a partial answer. There were 19 recipients of that piece of spam, and they all had one friend in common. So I contacted that friend – let’s call him Typhoid Steve – and told him his Facebook account had probably been compromised. Hopefully, he’ll be able to rectify that problem by changing his password and/or deleting a spammy app he installed.
But I was also partially to blame. I had my Facebook privacy settings to accept messages from anyone – making me prime spam bait. So I immediately went into my Privacy Settings, selected How You Connect, and then changed the setting of “Who can send you Facebook messages?” from Everyone to Friends.