Two new Facebook status updates are spreading like wildfire on Dashboards this week. "This American GUY should be Stoned to Death for doing this to a GIRL (NO SURVEYS)!" and "I Will NEVER TEXT Again After Seeing THIS!"
Both phrases are links that ask you to "CLICK HERE TO SEE" the apparently shocking videos. And since your friends apparently clicked the links and liked them, you figure you've got to see what they're talking about.
Once your curiosity gets the best of you, you click, and are taken to a page where you are asked to give permission for access to your profile information.
The page looks innocent enough, like the one you would see if you were downloading FarmVille or any other popular Facebook game.
If you agree to hand over permission, you not only find there are no "shocking videos" but the rogue application has added itself to your list of "likes" in your profile, spammed your Friend List with the link (and your name attached to it), and now has access to all your personal profile information.
Scary stuff. But nothing new.
In August 2010, ConsumerAffairs.com reported on an apparent "dislike button" that could be downloaded and added to profiles.
Like the "American GUY" and "Text" scams, it turned out to be nothing more than a way to phish profile information from unsuspecting Facebook users.
The "American GUY" scam is potentially more harmful than scams of the past. It could cost you money.
According to Facecrooks.com, a website chronicling new Facebook scams, before access to the "video", you're required to take an IQ test, then prompted to provide your cell phone number so they can send you "the results of the test."
What actually happens is you sign yourself up for a monthly "service" that sends you text spam (and charges you for it). The only way out of the charge is to contact your cell phone provider and inform them of the scam.
With both of the new scams, you also have to go into your profile information and delete the application from your list of "likes."
Facebook warns to use caution before clicking on any link that appears on your Dashboard, even if your friends have posted it.
Be especially wary if old friend writes on your Wall or sends you a message, Facebook cautions, because it's possible that the person's account has been taken over by a spammer. As always, be particularly cautious of posts or messages that contain misspellings or use bad grammar.