Over 1,000 fake Facebook accounts were discovered in a large-scale scam aimed at Facebook Messenger users in over 80 countries worldwide, claims research by a team of analysts at cyber intelligence company Group-IB.

As per a blog post by Group-IB, DRP analysts discovered nearly 1,000 fake Facebook profiles employed in the scheme. It also states that the scam first came into the spotlight in the summer of 2020 and DRP analysts in Asia and Europe detected traces of the fraudulent campaign.

To facilitate the moderation process in Facebook and bypass its scam filters, scammers used shortened links created with the help of such services as linktr.ee, bit.ly, cutt.us, cutt.ly, and rb.gy. After clicking on the link that is supposed to lead to the download of the app’s updated version, the user finds themselves on a fake Facebook Messenger website with a login form, where they’re asked to enter their credentials. Scammers used such platforms as blogspot.com, sites.google.com, github.io, and godaddysites.com to register fake Facebook Messenger login pages.

In order to excite users and make them follow the link, scammers endowed the app with some non-existent features like the possibility to find out who visited one’s profile and see the messages that were deleted or even offered to shift to Gold Messenger.

Users are called to stay vigilant and follow some basic cyber hygiene rules that will help avoid getting into cybercriminals’ trap.

  • Always be cautious while following shortened links and raise a red flag if it leads to a poll or one-page blog.
    Never enter any personal data on websites to which you got from third-party resources even if they have logos of well-known brands.
  • Enter your login credentials only on social network/service official website or official app.It is also worth paying attention to the domain of the page you visit — fraudsters often register domain names misspelling brand names, as it was the case with Facebook Messenger.