Inventive FaceBook Scammers Trick You Out of Money with Trojans

facebookscam Do you take the same pains to protect your FaceBook details online, that you do your banking info?

A recent case involving a Microsoft employee from Seattle, Bryan Gutberg, highlighted the need to protect your FaceBook details in the same way, and be as wary surfing around FaceBook as you are the rest of the net.

This story was first reported by Bob Sullivan, respected cyber-scam reported for MSNBC. In the tale, hackers somehow gained access to Gutberg’s login and password – most likely through a keylogger, or a Trojan such as Zlob or Vundo.

They logged into his FaceBook account and posted a status update saying “Bryan IS IN URGENT NEED OF HELP!” They had also emailed all of his contacts, saying that he had been robbed and that he was in need of money to get home. Many of his friends were ‘defriended’ on FaceBook, so he wasn’t able to have them post messages on his wall letting his FaceBook-contact only friends know that they were the victims of a scam.

One of Gutberg’s friends did fall for the scam – his good-heartedness cost him US$1,200. He wired $600 through Western Union, and then a further $600 at the scammers’ behest.

FACEBOOK security

Trojans and other malware that are designed to steal passwords can quite easily obtain your FaceBook account details from your computer. You can fight these infections by ensuring that you regularly use anti-malware software (certified, not rogue!), keeping all of your programs updated and patched, and taking online browsing precautions like not installing extra codecs.

FaceBook is also urging customers to be aware when they click on links in emails to access their accounts. FaceBook regularly sends these emails with links, so they are a ripe target for scammers. Pay extra attention that the FaceBook login page looks as you remember it, and access your account by opening a new browser window and typing in the address directly wherever you can.

Guest Writer: This is a guest post by Kristopher Dukes of – an invaluable asset in the battle against malware. Pay a visit to, and I’m convinced you’ll become a regular visitor.

The content of this article is copyright 2009 © by Dukes Media, LLC All rights reserved.


Filed under Application Vulnerabilities, Don't Get Hacked, FaceBook, Guest Writers, Interconnectivity, Online Safety, social networking, Windows Tips and Tools

7 responses to “Inventive FaceBook Scammers Trick You Out of Money with Trojans

  1. Pingback: Lost the Setup CD? How To Connect a Router* « Tech–for Everyone

  2. TechPaul

    Thank you, both, for posting this excellent advice article. The public most definitely needs to be aware of these scams, and cyber-criminal activities.

    I would also like to welcome Mr. Dukes to the “Guest Writer’s Club”, and say that I hope we will see more submissions here in the future.

    Allow me also to express that I believe that it is an absolute travesty that one criminal hacker can log into WOT and give your website a bad review, and now people with the otherwise excellent WOT toolbar will be warned away from your top-notch website.
    The good folks at WOT should remedy this ASAP!

    Folks, I assure you, is a safe “good guy” website.

  3. Hey, TechPaul

    Thanks so much for the welcome — I’m glad to become a part of this blog and community!

    And thank you for your support — I really want to make 411 the best resource it can be. So your suggestions and support are very much appreciated.

    Looking forward to getting to know you, and everyone else involved in Bill’s community.


    P.S. Despite the name, I’m actually a chick. 😉


  5. g

    great article. funny but the website came up on the WOT dangerous list!

  6. Bill Mullins

    Tech Paul,

    Absolutely dead on re: the WOT site review. It’s not the first time, nor the last time, that a site review has, or will be manipulated.

    This is not a weakness in WOT however. My experience has been, that people driven security such as WOT, is generally more reliable than systems that utilize other methods.

    A problem I have with all systems though is – it takes waaaay to long to have a rating re-assessed and changed, where appropriate. A time frame of 6 months or more, does not cut it. McAfee Site Advisor is notorious for this type of behavior.

  7. Ms. Dukes,
    I admit that I am blushing at the moment, but I stand by my words. Your site, and the information you provide, definitely makes you one of the “good guys” in the battle against cyber-crime.