Security experts are warning Facebook users of yet another scam designed to trick them into downloading a rogue third-party application, by pretending that the site is closing all of its accounts.
The viral scam spread quickly through Facebook, taking advantage of tried and tested social engineering techniques.
In this instance, users saw that their profiles had been updated with the following message:
"Facebook is closing all accounts today. They can't handle so many accounts. Most of the old accounts are not active, so they are deleting everything. If you want your account alive please confirm your activity. This is the final notice!"
Clicking on the link following the message led to what looked like an official Facebook application, according to Sophos senior technology consultant Graham Cluley.
"Their intention is to gain access to your Facebook profile so they can post the same message from your Facebook page, spreading the message virally to all of your friends," he wrote in a blog post.
"If the fear of losing your Facebook account drove you to make a bad decision and you did grant the application the right to post to your wall, it will take advantage immediately and take your browser to an online survey that earns the scammers commission."
Social networks such as Facebook have become an increasingly fertile ground for online scammers quick to exploit the greater levels of trust people have on such sites.
Symantec's latest Internet Security Threat Report found a big jump in the number of malicious links spread on sites like Facebook, for example.
Symantec distinguished engineer Sian John told V3.co.uk that, if an application appears to be asking for more permissions than usual to install, it may well be malicious.
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