Home Icon
facebook-colour-scam

Facebook falls victim to colourful scams

By Leigh D. Stark | 2:03 pm 20/11/2012

Do you use Google’s Chrome browser, and are you an avid Facebook fan? It might be worthwhile checking if your internet security is up to date, with a new scam making the rounds that can apparently change the colour of your Facebook profile.

It’s one of the the tricks of 2012, with scammers and spammers telling you that it’s possible to change to a pink Facebook, or a black Facebook, or a red Facebook, or anything else other than that basic blue Facebook we’re all stuck with.

Like the free gift cards from JB HiFi and calls from Microsoft’s technical department, though, it’s all a lie, and there is no way to change the colour of Facebook, only your cover photo.

But don’t let that fact stop anyone, with the scam resurfacing in an app for Google Chrome, installed from Google’s online web store for its Chrome web browser, and showing off a whole bunch of ads that – you guessed it – make the app maker a bunch of money.

Bitdefender, one of the world’s biggest antivirus companies, clued us into this earlier in the week, with security researcher Liviu Arsene telling GadgetGuy that “around 40,000 Google Chrome users have already been scammed through the ‘Customize Your Colour’ app, but the total amount of installs and users affected could easily be several times greater as they might have uninstalled it after figuring out its true purpose.”

That “true purpose” is unsurprisingly nefarious, with the app reposting itself to Facebook timelines in the hopes that all of your friends and family click on it, where it will link to create blogs built under the name of the victim and attempt to create revenue for the scam artist.

In essence, someone wants to make money from you and your friends by tricking you.

“By creating dozens of blogs for a single account, the scam spreads like wildfire among Facebook friends,” said Catalin Cosoi, Bitdefender’s Chief Security Strategist.

The best way to defend yourself is to not install the Chrome app, but the scam doesn’t just rely solely on your web browser, as it can infect anyone who clicks on it, sending them to one of the scam sites and spreading around.

Security experts are recommending the use of internet security software to protect yourself, and if you don’t have any, to check out one of the many free forms of protection for your social networking, such as Norton’s Safe Web for Facebook and Bitdefender’s Safego.

 

Latest reviews

  • Review: Leica Q (Typ 116)

    Not all cameras are the same, and Leica’s Q proves it, packing a full-frame 35mm sensor, 28mm f/1.7 fixed lens, and a body that says “camera” more than most…
  • Review: KEF M200 in-earphones

    If there’s one thing KEF understands, it’s audio, with the company producing some of the best speakers we’ve ever heard. Unfortunately, we can’t carry big speakers everywhere we go,…
  • Review: Jawbone Up 2

    Need a bit of help getting in shape? Jawbone hopes to have the answer in an update to its Up 24, with the new sequel, the slimmer Up 2.
  • Review: Samsung Gear VR for Galaxy S6/S6 Edge

    With the upcoming releases of the consumer-ready Oculus Rift and HTC’s Vive, virtual reality is about ready for use by regular people. Samsung is there now, though, and…
  • Oppo's 4.85mm thin R5 smartphone reviewed

    Apple may lead the smartphone wars with the iPhone, but Oppo is challenging the big A for some inventiveness, finding a way to make mobiles slimmer than ever with…
  • Review: LifeProof FRE Power for iPhone 6 (battery case)

    Smartphone batteries tend not to go for longer than a day, and Apple’s iPhone 6 is no exception, but the latest case from accessory maker LifeProof isn’t just about…
  • Review: Beats Solo 2 Wireless headphones

    Beats has one of those interesting reputations. Kids and young people love ‘em, while the older generation can’t stand them, but the latest pair tries to win over all…
  • Review: Toshiba Satellite Radius L10W

    Smaller computers are ideal for students and people on the go, and when they’re also technically tablets, they can be even better. Is Toshiba’s Radius L10W a hybrid worthy…
  • Review: LG 65 inch Prime 4K UHD TV

    It's not enough to have a big screen, and this year LG's 4K TVs are about more colours, fast operation, and sharp visuals. Does it succeed?
  • Review: HP Spectre X360

    HP's Spectre was one of the surprise laptops from last year, and a return for HP to the quality laptop space. Can the latest generation of Spectre keep the…

“How do you stop yourself from being caught out by these scam artists?”

Read More

Tell us…

Which smartwatch are you interested in buying?

View Results

Loading ... Loading ...

“There’s certainly no doubt that you can find a bargain, but like always, you get what you pay for.”

Read More