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Struggling with Social Scams? How to Avoid Scams on Facebook

Posted on 6 December 2023, Written by Michael

Since their inception, social media platforms have been continually taking the world by storm and dominating how we all live. For many of us, social media platforms are predominantly there for personal use, however, if you own a business, then you’re more inclined to use them for marketing purposes.

The largest and most well-known social media channels respectively are Facebook and Instagram, both of which are owned by the parent company Meta. These two platforms have dominated the social media landscape for years now and have the largest volume of business customers advertising on them. 

However, it’s important to remain vigilant. One common theme, especially recently, is the number of scams on Facebook, particularly Facebook Messenger scams. This clever yet deceitful approach to scamming is certainly making more victims and therefore you should know what to look for. 

How to avoid scams on Facebook

Scams on Facebook can come in a variety of different formats. The hackers and malevolent people behind these schemes have evolved their tactics over time in line with the updates released. It is because of this that there will never be a time when scams aren’t present. Don’t be alarmed though! It is possible to advertise safely on Facebook and social media, something we have been doing for many years now!

Read on for Social Media Security Tips:

Check the profiles messaging you through Facebook Messenger. Facebook Messenger scams are very much where we see the highest volume of trouble. Scammers are now pretending to represent official Meta accounts, through which they will message your page. Here is an example of one of these fake messages received by one of our clients.

Messenger screenshot showing a conversation from an account pretending to be Meta support. Common scam on Facebook.

Look closely at the screenshot and you can see that this message was supposedly from “Policy Help Center” which isn’t a real page or profile operated by Meta

Communication from Meta

When you receive communication from Meta the main way will be via email. If a representative from Meta or Facebook does contact you through email, they’ll use an address ending in “@business.fb.com”, “@fb.com” or any one of the 9 listed domains here.

It is possible to be contacted by Meta through Facebook Messenger if you have filed a support ticket with them; however, this conversation will be separated from the rest and will stand out with a blue verification tick.

Be aware of the threats being made in the Facebook Messenger Scams

A lot of the time scammers will come at you with big claims that your page violates some rules or regulations. They aim to scare users by using these big threats in conjunction with a profile that claims to be from Meta. Again, be mindful of the profile that is messaging you with this and check for the blue verification tick.

Don’t click on any links in a message that you fear could be a scam

This is extremely important and something we will always recommend. Throughout Facebook’s lifetime, there have been cases where nasty links were clicked by unsuspecting users. When clicked, these links would end up compromising their accounts, something that still holds today. Instead of clicking the link you receive, scrutinise it carefully, checking the domain that it will send you to.

Check out the message another of our clients received the other day. Pay close attention to the link being used. The scammers here have tried to trick the user again into believing that they are from Meta. The domain they are trying to send the user to here is most certainly not an official Meta domain. More information about phishing and Facebook Messenger scams can be found here.

Another message screenshot showing common scams on Facebook. The person sending the message is pretending to be a Facebook support officer threatening to delete a page.

Get someone else to read the message 

Get someone to read the message: they might spot something that you don’t!

Much like with proofreading, any suspicious messages you receive must be checked over by someone else. You could ask a colleague, however, it’d be better to reach out to your IT security company or marketing agency. You can’t put a price on security!

How to get rid of Scams on Facebook

Now that you know what to look for in a social media scam, it’s important to know how to prevent them and get rid of scams on Facebook.

Preventing social security scams starts with adding extra layers of security to your social media accounts. There are many ways you can achieve this included below:

Enable 2-factor authentication on your account

Most people know about 2-factor authentication, but for those who don’t, it is a second line of defence for your online security. Most, if not all digital platforms and applications, have 2-factor authentication. It’s a fantastic way to prevent hackers and scammers from breaching your account and gaining access to your sensitive company information and assets. 

It works by requiring a limited-time code that is to be inputted after your initial login with your username and password. 

Chances are if a hacker or scammer has managed to discover your initial login details, they likely haven’t figured out how to bypass your 2-factor authentication. Should you find yourself in this situation, and notice a suspicious login attempt to one of your accounts, ensure you decline the login immediately. Then, change your password to something unique and complex.

There are a few ways you can activate 2-factor authentication, but the main ways are with either a text message or email, phone call or authentication app.

New and emerging methods of 2-factor authentication are now being implemented, upping the levels of defence a user can have against social media scammers. One such method, called Passkeys, created by well-known password manager 1Password, works to bring about a truly password-free experience whilst you browse the web.

 It’s a powerful feature because it no longer requires you to enter login details, instead using a verification key that is uniquely assigned to verified web domains. For example, the official Facebook domain will have a verification key that authenticates with 1Password, meaning if you go to a non-official domain, i.e. a scam site, the passkeys feature won’t work.

Graphic taken from 1Password website

Make your password unique and complex

A common mistake people make is having the same password and email address across the multiple websites they log into. It becomes worrisome when a scammer manages to access your details because it now compromises every site you access.

Ensuring you have a unique password for each website you log in to significantly lessens the damage you could face. It also makes it much harder for hackers to work your password out.

Did you know that you can check how secure your passwords are? Check out security.org to see how long a computer would take to crack your passwords.

My Meta account has been hacked

If you think you have been hacked, contact Meta immediately. Getting in touch with Meta as soon as possible with as much information as you can provide is the best course of action. The sooner you get in touch, the better. Meta support can help you, even recovering your account.

What you should do if you notice fraudulent spending

Contact your banking provider if you notice fraudulent spending. This should be one of the first steps you take if you notice something suspicious. By alerting the bank, they can freeze your card and block any further transactions. Once you have done this you can file for an indemnity claim to get your money back.

Get in touch with Pod Digital to help us help you

To conclude, there are definitely reasons why you need to be wary when using social media. Always be aware of messages you receive, clever phishing attacks and more. Whilst this is the case, it is absolutely possible to run a successful, profitable and secure advertising strategy on social media

If you’re interested in how social media can safely benefit your brand, get in touch with us today. We’ll open your eyes to a sea of potential, one which Pod Digital knows how to navigate.

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