Rachel Bashford
Rachel Bashford
Consumer Expert

Facebook is like a friend for many. As of January 2024, Statista reports that it is the most popular social network worldwide, with three billion active monthly users. People see it as a trusted platform, but some users are realizing that scammers are hiding around every virtual corner. 

Facebook scams and issues with accounts are more common than you may think. Customers are trying to find ways to contact Facebook customer service to resolve their issues. In fact, out of 760,000 calls made to customer support, 56% relate to account issues and inquiries.

With the social networking service’s popularity, its users are more vulnerable to various fraudsters. So, in this article, we will explore the most common Facebook scams, their red flags, ways to avoid them, and what to do if you’ve become a victim.

Key Insights

  1. In the first half of 2023, 61% of online shopping fraud loss reports were about undelivered merchandise originating from social media. Facebook was involved in 60% of these cases. 
  2. Facebook scammers use a variety of tactics, such as fake accounts, phony giveaways, and Facebook Marketplace grifting. 
  3. Protect yourself by only friending people you know, never clicking on suspicious links and only shopping with verified brand accounts. 

Facebook scams red flags

Red Flags of Facebook Scams

Online scams on Facebook may have various forms. Also, social media fraudsters are proficient at performing innovative fraud. However, knowing the red flags can save a ton of stress and help you avoid falling victim. 

Here are the most typical warning signs:

  1. You receive an urgent message from a stranger. Facebook messenger scams are increasing in frequency. Thus, be very wary with any messages you receive from unknown people, especially if they claim that your account has been compromised and ask for your login credentials to help resolve the issue. 
  2. Too-good-to-be-true investment opportunity. This could be the promise of a get-rich-quick scheme that asks you for money up front. Apparently, 26% of reported fraudulent investment opportunities take place on Facebook, so always double check everything. 
  3. Brand new profiles with few friends. Such profiles lack social proof and legitimacy and make them suspicious to users who are wary of potential scams.
  4. Deals that appear excessively attractive on Facebook Marketplace. Facebook marketplace scams are increasing, with high-quality goods being sold at unbelievably low prices. 
  5. Requests for money or personal security information. Such actions should be seen as major warning signs. If you’re asked to send money over a payment app, this could be a danger zone. Facebook reviews highlight how much of a threat this can be to personal security. 

The Latest Facebook Scams

Facebook scams are now more sophisticated, specifically designed to catch more people out. Fraudsters aim to get your personal information, your account credentials, or data about your bank cards through phishing emails, quizzes, fake giveaways, and other deceptive tactics.

Here are some of the latest trends in Facebook scams for you to avoid. 

Phishing emails

Originating in email and social media messaging, phishing is a very urgent message encouraging you to hand over personal information or money. 

The message may state that something has happened to your Facebook account, and the messenger needs access. They may write that you have violated the platform’s terms and then provide a pressurizing limited-time link to click and solve the problem. 

Here is an example of a Facebook scam phishing email that looks official to hoodwink innocent users into handing over confidential information.

Facebook phishing emails

Facebook removed 413 million spam emails and messages in the third quarter of 2023, yet this may just be the tip of the iceberg. 

Below is another phishing email example that asks for security information to scam people’s accounts for illegal profit. 

Facebook verification phishing emails

Facebook Marketplace scams

Facebook is no longer just the place to share personal updates, it’s now a thriving commercial marketplace. Brands need to be visible and the platform is a great way to maintain a public presence. 

But caution is advised, as some of those enticing ads promoting products are fake. In some cases, scammers create bogus Facebook accounts and then promote fake ads on Facebook Marketplace selling pretend products. 

Scammers will take your money for a product that never arrives and then disappear, like one Facebook customer who tried to buy a phone. Based on the online review left on PissedConsumer.com, the reviewer saw an ad, paid $275 through a cash app and never saw her money or the phone again:

 I sent the money and they blocked me. It was $275 through cash app, but I still have receipts of me paying.

Romance scams

Dishonest romance scams have been around for years. Now, scammers target people looking for relationships on Facebook in order to dupe them through flattery to increase trust. 

Sadly, there is usually a request for money down the line that should be a red flag to users. In one of the recent Facebook complaints, a frustrated user shares how was nearly taken in by a romance scammer but stopped when realized the person was not authentic. The reviewer tried to report the issue to customer service to protect other women. However, attempts were unsuccessful:

I then decided to block his mobile number and delete my dating profile frim Facebook dating. I have tried reporting this to Facebook, but found Metacom/help TOTALLY USELESS.

Facebook games and quizzes scams

Games and quizzes are big business these days and are popular on Facebook. Scammers know that gamers are invested so they will target them to take advantage.

The motivation is to get you to divulge personal information or hand over money. You may pay a Facebook scammer for a game, win and then never receive your winnings. 

Jobs scams

Not only a social app, Facebook is now a work platform. Plenty of jobs ads are shared and many are real, but some are not and innocent job seekers can fall prey to fraudulent tactics. 

Cybercriminals know they can ask for personal data with job ads, such as passport details. In fact, according to the review of one of the job seekers, they fell victim to a Facebook scam by answering a job ad. As a result, they “had my account and identity on Facebook stolen.” At the end, the user recommends:

Beware of job postings that pop up on your newsfeed because some are Facebook users that exploit you for false advertising for whatever they’re attempting to con others in to believing.

Facebook giveaway scams

There’s nothing better than a free gift, right? Wrong, when it comes to some Facebook giveaway scams. Giveaways usually have an incredible gift for a tiny amount – but in return for your personal information. One of users shares in their review #3841967 how they fell for a giveaway scam and shared too much with the fraudsters:

I was sent a msg from a supposed friend acct about some giveaway or contest. Got asked to send them the acct verify code, now knowing this is how they got access to my acct and stole it.

Tips to avois Facebook scams

Tips on How to Avoid Facebook Scams

Keeping pace with Facebook scammers is tough, but knowing how to recognize and avoid criminal activity is vital for your online safety. Here are some practical tips to help:

  • Enable two-factor authentication for extra security. When any user tries to log in to your account, a one-time code is sent to your phone, and you must enter it with a username and password. 
  • Ignore dubious personal messages. Never answer any messages asking for money or requesting to send money via an app. 
  • Only 'friend' people you know. If you are unsure that you know the person or the account has no profile photo, you can't be certain that they aren't a scammer. So, it's best to decline the request. 
  • Avoid clicking on suspicious links. Clicking on them can be risky, so always double-check before opening unfamiliar links. 
  • Have control over your Facebook privacy settings. In settings, you can click 'Privacy Checkup' to review and strengthen your privacy. 
  • Use a strong Facebook password. Protect your account with a strong password that you don't use anywhere else, and consider storing it in your password manager. 

Steps to Take if You've Fallen Victim to Facebook Scams

If you experience a Facebook scam, then acting quickly may help to minimize damage. Follow these steps to regain control over your personal information:

  1. Change your password on Facebook. If you believe someone has hacked your Facebook account, immediately updating your password is crucial. Remember to check if you use the same password on other resources, and in case you do so, change it on these as well.
  2. Report the incident to Facebook. Find the ‘Report’ button on any page and share your experience. Such actions may help avoid the same Facebook scams in the future by allowing social media to study the case and take the appropriate actions.
  3. Check your accounts and freeze any vulnerable cards. By doing so, you can prevent further unauthorized access and protect your finances from additional harm.
  4. Perform a malware scan on your devices. After falling victim to Facebook scams, checking if malware has been installed on your device during the fraud is essential. It can compromise your data and lead to further security breaches.

Be Facebook Smart

Facebook is a great way to connect with loved ones and share memories, but it can also be high-risk if you aren’t cautious. Remain alert to Facebook scams to stay safe while enjoying your journey on the platform. 

Always check any communication you have over the platform to make sure you’re not sharing personal information that could make you vulnerable. If you have experienced any kind of Facebook scams, you may share your experience and leave a review on PissedConsumer.com.

Legal disclaimers:

  1. While every effort has been made to ensure the accuracy of this publication, it is not intended to provide any legal, medical, accounting, investment or any other professional advice as individual cases may vary and should be discussed with a corresponding expert and/or an attorney.
  2. All or some image copyright belongs to the original owner(s). No copyright infringement intended.

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