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A Cybercriminal Wants To Be Your Facebook Friend… Or Infect Your PC!

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In the last few days, we’ve received numerous copies of a very convincing fake Facebook friend request email, with the subject line “[First Name] [Last Name] wants to be your friend”:

Facebook Friend Request Email Scam

This is yet another example of how cybercriminals are attempting to use social engineering to lure people into their traps, and disturbingly, the content of this particular scam email is strikingly similar to a genuine notification from Facebook.

As we have predicted previously, the bad guys are getting much better at replicating legitimate-looking emails, right down to the finest of details. It’s therefore no longer possible to identify a scam message simply by using your eyes alone.

The danger of this fake Facebook friend request email is that all of the clickable links within the message lead directly into the clutches of a Blackhole Exploit Kit site. So, if your computer is not up to date or protected with an internet security solution, there’s a very good chance it could become infected should you click through.

However, the AVG (AU/NZ) community can breath a sigh of relief! Fortunately, the excellent link-scanning capabilities within AVG security products are able to detect and block most known malicious varients of the Blackhole Exploit Kit:

Facebook Friend Request Email Scam: Threat Blocked

Here are 5 tips to make sure you don’t get snared by this email scam:

  1. Always keep your computer software and operating systems up to date with automatic download and installation options set where possible.
  2. Use an Internet Security suite (like ours!) with LinkScanning technology.
  3. Make sure you have an anti-spam solution in place, such as the one included in AVG Internet Security, to reduce the chance of receiving scam emails like this.
  4. If you do receive an email like the one described here, never click the “unsubscribe” link. In this case, the link is malicious as well!
  5. Tell your friends and family to stay alert and work together with our community to help protect us all. A great first step is to follow us on Facebook and Twitter and share helpful news and warnings about online threats.


Until next time, stay safe out there!


  • peter sommers

    thanks!! keep up the good work!! I have received this enquiry but fortunately being a bit suspicious deleted post!!

    • http://www.avg.com.au avgaunz

      You’re suspicions were proven correct, Peter! :)

  • Ian McDonell

    As far as possible, I never use Facebook and I don’t know or care to know how to use Twitter. My own protection routine, I guess.

  • Noel Bourke

    I had two recent requests from “friends” i’d never heard of, so I hit the delete button.
    Thanks for this warning and continuin protection.

    • http://www.avg.com.au avgaunz

      No problem at all, Noel! Always best to be safe rather than sorry – so we’re in favour of hitting ‘delete’ when in doubt too.

  • Lynda J

    I’m not into Facebook at all, so guess I’m protected!!! Thanks for the info tho!!

  • Karanna

    I keep being asked by the ‘ANZ’ to update my account. I don’t use Internet banking!

  • carole

    Thaks heaps keep up the good work.

  • Ian Windsor

    Less than a fortnight ago I had a bogus email that appeared to be from Facebook with the names of two of my friends from my gmail list requesting me to add them to their Facebook friendship list.

  • http://www.facebook.com/alex.freshwater.3 Alex Freshwater

    i never except FB requests through emails – always go to my FB page and if the request is not there then you know its spam

    • http://www.avg.com.au avgaunz

      That’s an excellent process to follow, Alex. Thanks for sharing!

  • loz

    Thanks very much

  • Al from Aussie

    I’m so desperate for friends I will accept Blackhole Kit!! Just kidding, but if you do feel like dropping me a line I will be pleased to hear from you!

    • http://www.avg.com.au avgaunz

      We do hope you’re joking there, Al! We’ve just sent you an email to say hello :)

  • J A G

    Thanks for the info, I noticed some comments were from 3 months ago, we just received the message today and relayed it to friends. We don’t have a facebook account (not enough time for the emails let alone anything else). Keep up the good work.

    • http://www.avg.com.au avgaunz

      You’re welcome J A G! Very interesting to hear that this one is still doing the rounds. Thanks so much for letting your friends know too!

  • http://www.facebook.com/andrew.jarrod.pearce Andrew Pearce

    Avg found a Trojan on my PC, it is called Ibryte desktop. Do not uninstall it! It releases the Trojan! Remove it in safe mode ( there is also bits and pieces if it in the app data folder of the affected user.

    • http://www.avg.com.au/ avgaunz

      Thanks for the information Andrew, we appreciate your comments very much!

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