Fake dislike button hits Facebook

16 Aug 2010

A new viral scam which poses as a dislike button is being spread across Facebook, according to data protection firm Sophos.

The link to it is being posted on users’ Facebook statuses that have fallen for the scam.

These updates appear in two forms: either as “I just got the Dislike button, so now I can dislike all of your dumb posts lol!! LINK” or “Get the official DISLIKE button NOW! – LINK”.

When other users click the link, they are fooled into giving the scammers access to the personal information on their profile, along with promoting the link on their own status.

It then asks them to complete an online survey, which earns money for the scammers. At the end of the process, the user does not receive a dislike button.

This has not been the first survey scam that has afflicted Facebook. Others that have spread include “Justin Bieber trying to flirt”, “Student attacked his teacher and nearly killed him” and “world’s worst McDonald’s customer.”

A dislike button has been highly requested by Facebook users. Status updates include the feature to ‘like’ it, but many wish they could ‘dislike’ them too, in order to be able to facilitate a more opinionated discussion.

Sophos’ senior technology consultant Gm Cluley warns that because a dislike button feature is in such high demand, the scam could be more effective than previous versions.

“This bogus feature differs from recent scams as those behind it aren’t preying on users’ curiosity about shocking videos or celebrity scandals. This scam is actually posing as something that many Facebook users want,” said Cluley.

“Facebook users should think carefully before they click on an unknown link in a friend’s status update as these scams are becoming increasingly common. 

“Giving away personal information in a survey and allowing an application access to your profile is extremely risky and Facebook users need to wise up to this rather than just clicking on links that they see, just because they appear to be from a trusted source,” Cluley said.