Britons are being warned not to fall for an email scam, which appears to be sent from Facebook’s ‘user experience research’ team.
In the legitimate looking email, it says that the popular social media website is holding a 60-minute research study on Monday 23rd, Tuesday 24th and Wednesday 25th of July.
It goes on to add that it’s at its London offices, with available time slots for the survey. However, Facebook has confirmed to This is Money that this is a scam.
Easy mistake: Those who receive this correspondence may be tempted to click on the links in the hope of getting a £70 voucher
The potential for people to find the email credible could be increased by awareness of Facebook’s current advertising campaign, where it takes a stand against fake news and other online problems and indicates it is trying to improve the experience of its users.
The phony email says: ‘We want to learn more about how people use Facebook and how we can make it a better experience.
‘As a token of our appreciation, you’ll receive a £70 Amazon e-gift card for your time spent participating in the study.’
It then goes on to add: ‘If you are interested in participating, please complete this brief survey: Click Here.’
When you hover over the ‘click here’ hyperlinked part of the email, the first sign that it is scam comes to light, with the address looking suspect compared to the rest of the email, shown below.
Scam: The email is pretty convincing in both tone and is from a legitimate looking address
When you hover over the ‘click here’ part, this address comes up
It is signed off by someone calling themselves Angelica Agbukor of Facebook Research, with 1 Rathbone Square listed as the address, which is a genuine Facebook office.
However, a spokesman from Facebook confirmed the email is not genuine and said it should be reported to its scam centre.
It highlights how convincing fraudsters are becoming and how people must stay on their guard.
It is always good practice to hover over links contained in an email before being tempted to click through.
The spokesman added that Angelica named in the email is not a Facebook employee and it wouldn’t approach users this way to take part in surveys.
It is unclear what the links in the website would take you to, but it is likely an attempt to install malware or siphon personal information – or both.
Criminal gangs use malware to compromise customers’ security and personal details.
Malware has been most prominent on PCs and laptops, but criminals now also target smartphones.
The email has many legitimate looking elements to it, including the firstname.lastname@example.org address and a genuine link at the bottom to Facebook’s data policy.
Many could be fooled into clicking the link, only to find their personal data compromised.
Companies and households in Britain lost almost £1billion to financial fraudsters in 2017, according to figures from UK Finance.
Banks and card companies managed to stop two thirds of fraud attempts last year, the data adds.