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updated 4/20/2011 9:19:19 AM ET 2011-04-20T13:19:19

Social networks have given us instant contact with our entire network of friends, from colleagues to exes to grade-school buddies. So if one of those friends decided they’d had enough of your virtual companionship, you’d want to know, right?

Online scammers certainly think so, and here’s the proof: a new scam on Twitter that promises to show who has "unfollowed" you has already ensnared thousands of victims.

The security firm Sophos reports seeing tweets that read, "58 people have unfollowed me, find out how many have unfollowed you." The phony message comes with a link, and includes hashtags such as #duringsexplease and #youneedanasswhoopin, both of which are currently trending topics on the social network.

If you can’t resist the temptation to see which friends you’ve lost, Sophos warns that you will be redirected to a survey scam as well as a rogue third-party application that, if authorized, can access your Twitter account and spread the fake message to all your friends.

"Always exercise caution about which third-party apps you allow to connect with your social networking accounts," Graham Cluley, Sophos’ senior technology consultant, wrote.

If you do mistakenly allow the app to access your account, its rights can be revoked under the Settings/Connections tab.

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