Spammers are exploiting the popularity surrounding the next iteration of Apple's iPhone by promising a free iPhone 5 to social networkers.

A number of Facebook users have reported receiving a message from one of their friends on the site asking them to join an event entitled 'Seeking young people to receive and test a free iPhone 5'.

A message posted on the group, which claims to have been set-up by "Gary, head of the research and development team at Apple" says the tech giant is seeking 250,000 young people to trial the Apple iPhone 5 and report on its pros and cons. In return those that trial the handset will be allowed to keep the device as "a thank you from Apple for taking part".

Facebook users that are interested in taking part in the trial are asked to click the 'I'm Attending' button and then invite 50 friends to the event. After these steps have been completed, the event promises the social networkers will then be contacted about recieving the devices.

Apple has yet to confirm whether the trial is genuine or not but the event has since been removed from the social network.

According to Graham Cluley from security firm Sophos, its definitely a scam.

"We've seen plenty of frauds like this in the past on Facebook, inviting people to join a bogus event," he said.

"If this were the truth (Apple hasn't even confirmed there will be an iPhone 5 remember) then it would be huge news, and you would expect to hear about the 250,000 user beta test everywhere! Forget the crazy rush for the HP Touchpad, this would be the gadget that everyone would be after."

Cluley said normally these scams lead to an online survey which earns money for the fraudsters in the form of affiliate commissio. Furthermore, web users joining the event could potentially find themselves on the receiving end of malicious links.

"Our advice is to think before you click - if something sounds too good to be true, it probably is."