As we manage lots of our customers Facebook accounts, we have seen a particular scam notification popping up several times this month already and thought we’d better share it with you…
Facebook users are being targeted by fake messages from the Facebook ‘Safety Center Page’, intended on tricking you into providing your personal information, including passwords, bank details and, in some cases, PayPal logins.
This is a scam that appears to have cropped up intermittently over the past few years, warning the user of a violation of terms of service, and that unless immediate action is taken to ‘re-confirm your account’, by following their provided link, it will be permanently blocked.
Sneaky scammers will often play on our fears with threats and demands for action to be taken, regularly targeting our social media accounts, which offer huge amounts of personal information. Combine that with their request for you to enter your bank details and, if ever successful, they have enough vital information to assume your identity online.
Since these types of scams all too often catch people out, we have provided some useful information below to help keep you safe.
What is a ‘Phishing’ scam?
Phishing is a criminal attempt at gaining access to your personal details, accounts and other ‘useful’ data by tricking you into entering sensitive information into a fake website (think of it as ‘fishing for information’).
Often this is by offering free gifts, exclusive goods or, as with Facebook, to ‘save your account from deletion’.
How to recognise a scam on Facebook (and in general)
Sometimes this can be difficult; as we become more savvy to these attempts at scamming us, the scammers work harder to make their ploy appear legitimate. That said, these tell-tale signs will help you recognise the difference:
- Misspellings and typos
- Mismatched links: hover over a link and check the web address against what appears in the bottom status bar of your browser window – if it’s different, it’s likely a scam
- Requests for personal and / or account information (passwords etc.). No legitimate company will ever ask you to provide them with your password, bank details or other personal information to prove who you are.
If ever in doubt, don’t do as they request and confirm its authenticity with the company first.
Facebook never ask for personal information through messages in this manner. For more information, visit their help page here.
How to report a scam (and abuse in general)
Every company has its own procedure for reporting scams that use their brand name to coerce unsuspecting victims. If you’re in doubt about a message, email, phone call or any other type of communication, contact them right away; details can usually be found on their website under the ‘Help’ sections.
In the case of Facebook, we’ve included the necessary links to report fake accounts and scammers below.
Remember to always remain cautious when online; if you’re suspicious, do not click on the link, do not give away personal details and report it.