Facebook will close all accounts today? Rogue app spreads virally

Graham Cluley
Graham Cluley
@[email protected]

Has Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg really announced that all accounts will be closed today unless users take action?

Of course not. But it’s exactly the type of message that would get many users to click on a link without thinking of the possible consequences – especially if the message appears to have been shared with them by one of their Facebook friends.

Facebook verification message

Facebook will close down all accounts today. The official announcement was made by Mark Zuckerberg – Facebook Owner.

This is a simple step to keep your account working.
If you want to have you account from now, please verify your account. [LINK]

Clicking on the link isn’t advisable. It takes you to a normal Facebook application permissions dialog, the kind you’re probably all too familiar with if you spend much time on Facebook. However, this dialog box is requesting permissions for a rogue application – clicking “allow” will permit the app to post the message to your wall as well, spreading the link virally to your Facebook contacts.

Facebook verification rogue application

But if you are carefree enough about what gets posted to your Facebook page, and do decide to hand permission to the app to rummage through your profile, then you will be taken to what appears to be a (poorly punctuated) message from Mark Zuckerberg himself:

Facebook account verification and survey

Facebook active account verification process.

Facebook is recently becoming very overpopulated, There have been many members complaining that Facebook is becoming very slow.Record shows that the reason is that there are too many non active Facebook members And on the other site too many new Facebook members. We need each and every user to verify their account with our new verification process to see if Members are active or not, Once you have visited this verification. You have 15 minutes to verify your account.If you are active please verify to show that you are active .On failing to do so, The user will be deleted without hesitation to create more space. Sorry for the trouble!

CEO,Founder of Facebook
Mark Zuckerberg

Here’s a larger version of the message if you want to see it.

But, as you can see, the message which claims to be from Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg is overlaid with a pop-up which requests you take a quick survey to “verify your account”.

This is where the scammers make their money. Every time you complete a survey you are helping the scammers earn commission. They abuse your Facebook account by posting messages from it, and earn some cash each time a survey is completed by an unsuspecting user.

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The message which claims to come from Mark Zuckerberg is bogus, and there is no need to verify your Facebook account to prevent its deletion.

Here’s an alternative version of the scam, which reader Krista shared with us after she encountered it:

Alternative version of Facebook scam

Mark Zuckerberg – Official Announcement.
The owner of Facebook announced that all the accounts will SHUT DOWN. In order to keep your account, you MUST verify your account TODAY link – [LINK]

If you have been hit by scams like this on Facebook, and are struggling to clean-up your profile, here’s a YouTube video I made which describes what steps you need to take:

Graham Cluley is an award-winning keynote speaker who has given presentations around the world about cybersecurity, hackers, and online privacy. A veteran of the computer security industry since the early 1990s, he wrote the first ever version of Dr Solomon's Anti-Virus Toolkit for Windows, makes regular media appearances, and is the co-host of the popular "Smashing Security" podcast. Follow him on Twitter, Mastodon, Threads, Bluesky, or drop him an email.

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