How to Spot a Facebook Scam
Important tip–never click on a link until you’ve confirmed it’s a legitimate email/message.
Facebook is a popular social media platform with over 2.9 billion active users. This makes it a prime target for scammers. There are many different types of Facebook scams, but some of the most common ones you can spot:
- Phishing scams: These scams involve sending emails or messages that appear to be from Facebook. The emails or messages will often ask you to click on a link or provide your personal information. Once you do, the scammers can steal your information and use it to commit identity theft or other crimes.
- Romance scams: These scams involve someone creating a fake profile on Facebook and pretending to be someone they’re not. They will often build a relationship with you and then ask you for money.
- Marketplace scams: These scams involve people selling fake or overpriced items on Facebook Marketplace. They may also ask you to pay for an item and then never send it to you.
- Gift card scams: These scams involve people asking you to send them gift cards in exchange for something, such as a job or a prize. The scammers will then use the gift cards to buy things for themselves.
How to Avoid Facebook Scams
There are a few things you can do to spot and avoid Facebook scams:
- Be careful about clicking on links in emails or messages from people you don’t know. If you’re not sure if a link is legitimate, hover over it to see the actual URL. If the URL doesn’t look like it belongs to Facebook, don’t click on it.
- Never give out your personal information to someone you don’t know, even if they seem to be from Facebook. This includes your password, credit card number, or Social Security number.
- Be wary of *everyone* on Facebook. If someone asks you for money, even for something small, it’s probably a scam. Even if it’s from someone you know, their profile could have been hacked.
- Do your research before buying anything on Facebook Marketplace. Check the seller’s reviews and make sure the item is actually available.
- If you think you’ve been scammed, report it to Facebook. You can also report it to the Federal Trade Commission (FTC).
The latest Facebook scams.
What we’ve noticed ramping up lately? Fake messages complaining about products/services. How do we know they’re fake? Aside from all of our clients getting the same message around the same time–many of them started the same way: “I bought a product from you and it’s defective.” Many of our clients are service-based, so we knew right away they were fake/spam. Also, when complaining about a product, you would probably be more specific, wouldn’t you? Maybe “I bought a shirt/dog toy/etc. from you.” But they never are.
We also see a lot of “Your page has violated Meta terms/your page has been reported…” Don’t panic. It’s a scam. You won’t get a message from Facebook if you had violated terms or been reported–you would have a notification in your business settings with an official notice on your business dashboard. Not a poorly written message in Messenger from some scammer with “Page Control” as their name.
When in doubt, ask your social media manager, someone who is savvy online, contact Facebook directly OR google the message and learn if others have reported it as spam. You can always ask us too, if you’re unsure. The more important rule is DON’T CLICK ON ANYTHING. They’re trying to steal info, so don’t do it.