Facebook users are being bombarded with timeline removal apps request that promise to remove Facebook Timeline. The scam seems to be spreading via various sources including rogue browser extensions and rogue Facebook applications.
The introduction of new design by Facebook was hardly well received by Facebook users and various enterprises. Scammers have exploited this and introduced more malware and scam applications that promise to revert back to older style Facebook profile layout.
Facebook Timeline Remover claims to be a plugin for Google Chrome and other browsers that intercepts the HTML code sent by Facebook and replaces the code with pre-timeline design. The apps further claim only users who have installed Facebook Timeline Remover will be able to see the profile pages in the old layout. Timeline and all information and content are not deleted.
“Facebook is sending the HTML code for your computer, and the computer translates the code into your browser. The plugin intercepts the code and reassembling the old design. So you see your old profile again,” Exoot Systems that developed one of the timeline removal browser plugin said after the app launch.
How does it work?
Here is how the apps work:
- Users are asked to install a browser plugin with a message claiming, “The only truly working solution approved by the Facebook community.”
- After you click on the link, you will be redirected to a website, whose domain name is just registered two days back in Turkey.
- The website provides you the option to install a Firefox or Chrome add-on to remove the Facebook Timeline from your account. Interestingly, there is a warning message just below the app page that states, “Please be aware of using or installing any “similar software”, as those might just harm your computer.”
- Hitting the “Remove my Timeline” button will give you the option to enter your basic info, email address and also asks if you’d like to invite your friends to use the application too.
- After that, you will be redirected to a collection of surveys to fill out instead of the previously mentioned browser extensions.
“Security is a top priority for Facebook, and we devote significant resources to helping people protect their accounts and information. We’ve built numerous defenses to combat phishing and malware, including complex automated systems that work behind the scenes … Security is an arms race, and our teams are always working to identify the next threat and build defenses for it,” Facebook said in a statement.
This is not the first time that Facebook has been targeted by scams. The popular networking site had past attacks like a bogus video chat app, offers for free stuff, fake dislike buttons, and hard-to-resist links, and affiliate marketing scams, to name a few handful.
This latest scam in social enterprises might be extracting your personal data and sell your data on to interested third-parties. To avoid being your profile hijacked, apply Timeline privacy features as recommended by Facebook. Make sure you are using anti-virus and firewall protection before installing any third party applications. One more step is to remove contents from your post/feed and tell your friends the same if you are being victimized.