Site claiming to change colour of Facebook profiles is a scam – Sophos

14 Nov 2012

IT security firm Sophos warns that links being spread on Facebook offering users the opportunity to change the colour of their profile pages are part of a scam and users should think twice before they click.

Links to a site claiming to be able to change the colour of Facebook profiles from trademark blue to black instead are reportedly turning up in users’ news feeds, sometimes appearing to be an event invite from a friend.

Graham Cluley, senior technology consultant at Sophos, investigated these links through a test account and was immediately suspicious of the number of website redirects he had to go through before finally reaching the ‘Change your Facebook Color’ page.

Future Human

“It’s interesting to see that the scammers behind this particular campaign have clearly dusted off some webpages they used in previous scams, as several point towards past campaigns such as the ‘Remove Your Facebook Timeline’ scam from earlier this year,” he said.

The ‘Change your Facebook Color’ page asks users to take part in an online survey before the change can be made, automatically ticking a box that says the user accepts the page’s terms and conditions.

Sophos believes the people behind this scam are earning money for the number of respondents to these online surveys, advising users to steer clear in order to avoid spreading it further.

“Unfortunately, many Facebook users will be too excited about the prospect of perhaps changing the look and feel of Facebook that they will not spot suspicious clues,” said Cluley.

“If users have mistakenly clicked on links or accepted invitations as part of this scam, they should remove all offending messages, photos and ‘likes’ from their account, check that they’ve not authorised a rogue app to access their account (from where it could steal information or post without asking permission), revoke any rogue app’s publishing rights, and report it as spam to Facebook,” he advised.

Elaine Burke is the editor of Silicon Republic