Lately, I have been fielding some questions from clients about disturbing messages in their Facebook Messenger business accounts that appear to be from Meta support. It turns out these are part of a particularly insidious phishing attack and one every business with a Facebook page needs to be on the lookout for to keep their data safe. The goal of the scam is to trick admins into revealing their login details out of fear. Here’s how to identify this scam and safeguard your account from potential hackers.
The attack can present itself in a couple of ways, either an email or as a contact in Messenger stating something along the lines of:
“We recently identified a violation of our Facebook Community Standards on your page. Due to this, your page has been disabled for violating Facebook’s Terms. If you think this decision is incorrect, you can submit a review request and appeal through the link provided below.”
The note might also assert that if you fail to act within 24 hours, Facebook will permanently delete your account. The message contains a link that seems to direct to Facebook.com. You might be tempted to click, thinking you’re protecting your account – but before you act, inspect the email more closely.
Upon a more detailed examination, you’re likely to spot scam indicators such as grammatical errors, and upon hovering over the provided link (without clicking), you may notice it doesn’t lead to Facebook’s actual site.
Clicking on that link typically redirects you to a page that looks official and prompts you to fill out a form to contest the alleged policy violation. It will request your login email, phone number, and name, among other information. It will ask for your password confirmation when you press submit. If you comply, scammers will possess all the necessary details to compromise your account.
As with all phishing scams, the only action you need to take is to delete the communication without following any of the links. These attacks leverage a bit of social engineering with some graphic design fraud and in our busy world are often close enough to the real thing to catch more than a few people. My best advice is to slow down, pause and take a deeper look. With a little scrutiny, you can usually see through their ruse and get on with your day.