What to do if your Facebook (or Twitter) account gets phished

This morning I woke up to an email from a friend of mine that had come via Facebook. The message listed me and a whole other group of names.

Facebook phishing message

I duly clicked thinking that I may have been tagged in a photo or similar, because I know the person socially as they run an art group.

On logging into Facebook I discovered my message wasn’t alone and that a similar message had been sent to a number of people a number of times. This immediately made me (and I’d hope most people) suspicious. At the top was a posting saying: ‘Do you remember this photo?’. Due to the context I had to to a double take and really examine the link. It immediately didn’t ring any bells that I’d associate with my friend, the context or Facebook, but unlike similar Twitter scams it did look fairly genuine, just not quite enough. His account had been phished*.

One person had already commented on the page that it looked like our mutual friend’s account had been hacked.

I immediately emailed my friend with the following advice, which also covers Twitter, should a similar thing happen to you.

Hi!
It looks like your Facebook account has been phished and you’ve mistakenly gone to a site with a fake Facebook login page and given them your login details.
It has then put a message on your profile and tagged your friends, sending them a message. On logging in you see your name and ar the top a post that reads ‘do you remember this photo?’. This sends people to a fake site etc.

What to do…
Change your password
Delete the messages
Update your profile with message about the problem :-(
Check to see what other changes may have taken place with your profile, including apps and pages
Check your security/privacy settings.

Twitter users also note
It’s worth visting your Settings/Applications page to check who has access to your account. Most of these will be legitimate and enable Twitter tools such as Tweetdeck, Bitly and Echofon to operate. Check to see if there are any you don’t recognise. If you are at all worried simply ‘revoke access’ to either the ones you can’t remember adding or to all of them. The worse that will happen in doing so is that you’ll be required to give permission next time you try and use one of these tools.
Twitter Settings Application page

*Phishing is a way of attempting to acquire sensitive information such as usernames, passwords and credit card details by masquerading as a trustworthy entity in an electronic communication.”

Further adventures in spam scams: the FBI & World Bank named

After the repeated pleas from Mr James Patton to claim my fortune I’ve been keeping an eye out for other unusual variations on the email scam. And lo, last week, to my joy, the next in the collection came along – with an FBI pre-text to boot! Thank you Ms Tracy Sanson (another good name choice) for your remarkable and complex story, I’m still not sure I fully understand it, or why your boss is capitalised. However, it’s good to know that like James you also use Rediffmail for your replies. I sense it must be reliable for such correspondence.

Here Tracy’s email for you to enjoy in its capital letter riddled glory:

from Ms.Tracy Sanson
reply-to mstracy@rediffmail.com
date Tue, Nov 2, 2010 at 7:09 AM
subject facts!

Hello,
I write to confess what you are presently going through with my Boss. I was a member of the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) on Local and Foreign Debt attached to the World Bank office in Washington, DC, USA. I resigned my official duty when I discovered the activities of my colleagues during a private investigation I carried out. I suspected some kind of fowl play in their act which they would never inform me because they know I would never be a party to such as a Christian.

I discovered that my Boss was conniving with some top officials of the World Bank to divert funds approved to settle international contractors and inheritance. The World Bank has already given approval for the payment of your fund while they are deliberately delaying your payment. They continue to issue one fee or the other from different quarters. I wonder why you haven’t noticed all this while.

Well I just hope you believe me, because if you don’t, your fund is gone. Your fund is currently authorized to be paid to you from a financial consultant in the UK or US, approved by the World Bank with a Key Tested Reference/CLAIMS CODE Number, which was supposed to have been issued to you, but they have decided to divert your attention by telling you that they have something to do with one committee or the other especially in Holland (Amsterdam) or Africa and making you believe that the fund will be transferred into your account – FALSE!

The reason why I am giving you this information is because of the fact that I was aware of it and my doctrine does not permit me to withhold such information. The only help you can get from me now, is the actual link to your payment, please do not give this information to my boss as it may lead to them influencing a total blockage to your payment, so you have to be very careful with this information.

Upon your response to this message, I shall give you all you need to contact the affiliate Payment Office in UK or US.

Yours truly,
Ms.Tracy Sanson
FBI/WB. WDC, USA.