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Facebook scam alert: Don’t join that group so quickly

January 24, 2010

Get a free $50 iTunes gift card. Join this group.

Get a free Mac Book Air. Join this group.

After getting a couple of these messages on my Facebook account, I did some digging and found out the root of this problem.

The invite will take you to the group’s homepage. Contrary to what it initially says, you can’t just join the group to have a chance to win, there are steps that must be followed:

Free macbook air offer in exchange for completing an easy survey and inviting all your friends to do the same.

We can track incomplete requests so please follow the directions EXACTLY!

►You cannot trick our completion tracking system◄

►1◄ Join the group by clicking the “Join” button on the top of this page. You must be a member of the group to actually get your macbook air. IMPORTANT.

►2◄ Click the “Invite People to Join” link on the left side of this page.

►3◄ Erase everything in your address bar.
(The address bar is where is typed.) Now, copy and paste this code in the address bar and hit ENTER:
javascript:elms=document.getElementById(‘friends’).getElementsByTagName(‘li’);for(var fid in elms){if(typeof elms[fid] === ‘object’){[fid]);}}

►4◄ Once you’ve done that, your friends in the box should turn BLUE. Now, click the “Send Invitations” button at the bottom of the page.

►5◄ On the bottom left of this page, click the button that says “Share”. When the window opens click the “Share” button.

►6◄ Visit our official site and follow the instructions exactly on the first and second page: (Very important) URL REMOVED BY ME Once this group reaches 50,000 members the offer will shut down and no one else will be able to try out the macbook airs. All steps must be completed for this to work. Takes less than two minutes to complete.

The first red flag for me was in the 3rd step. Nothing like Javascript to grab my attention right away. I’m not a code junkie per say so I couldn’t parse out exactly what was in there, but I know enough that when I see “getElementById(‘friends’)” that someone is clearly looking for a friends list.

After a quick trip through Google, I found a black hat site that beautifully described the purpose of this script.

When you add it to the end of, it culls your list of friends to send out a group invite so they get a chance to “win” too. Of course one of the perks the company gets from you joining the group is all of your personal information on Facebook, which, as halfway down that forum posting explains, is a gold mine of information for marketers.

My favorite excerpt:

Each account is a SEXY GIRL with 2-3 photos of the girl listed in the profile
There’s no niche’s per say, but in general since these are all female accounts with a pretty picture or two so they tend to draw in creepy guys so good for ewhoring or affiliate marketing.

Oh and if this wasn’t enough, not only is the site I deleted in the last step a marketing site, but there’s also this bit from that same group:

We do not give out macbook airs. is responsible for all free macbook airs.

That site doesn’t exist.