How to Avoid Meta Scams and Protect Yourself Virtually
Anyone with a private or professional social media account needs to keep an eye out for scammers. If you own a business and use Meta paid ads as part of your search engine marketing strategy, you must be especially wary. Many criminals would love nothing better than to steal your information.
Scam artists like to target people who run ads because they know that if they can hack those accounts, they’ve hit the jackpot. Scammers work quickly to steal credit card information from hacked advertiser accounts. Then, they turn around and use that stolen money to run ads for their products on the accounts they’ve hacked. Business owners and regular people alike can lose thousands of dollars to online swindlers in a matter of hours. Here’s how to recognize and avoid Meta scams so you don’t become a victim.
Understanding Meta Scams
If you spend enough time on social media, you’ll likely encounter a scam. Scammers are becoming more conniving and convincing all the time. As their methods become more sophisticated, many of their tricks become less obvious than they used to be. That means you must be more watchful than ever to ensure your info stays secure.
Instagram and Facebook are particularly ripe for cybercriminals because they’re so popular. Fraudsters know they can find more potential victims on Meta sites than anywhere else. The U.S. Federal Trade Commission states that social media scams lead to millions of dollars in financial losses yearly.
Examples of Common Meta Scams
There are so many Meta scams that they won’t fit in this guide. However, here are some of the more common scams you might encounter.
This is when a hacker takes over or replicates a friend’s account to get info from you. Never click on videos or links sent to you by a supposed “friend” you’re already friends with.
It’s natural to panic if you receive an email claiming you’ve violated policy and are in trouble. But don’t respond hastily. Check the email for poor grammar and look at the sender’s email address to verify whether it’s genuinely from Meta.
If you receive a DM link from a supposed friend asking you to verify whether you’re in the video, don’t fall for it. This is a typical Facebook scam.
One of the more popular Meta scams is an email with a link to re-enter your login and password. The email will claim you entered the wrong information the first time and that you need to re-enter it for security purposes. Report the email to [email protected], then delete it.
By now, most people should know that scammers love to pose as friends and ask for money. No matter how caring you may be, never send money to someone on social media.
How to Avoid Meta Scams
Now that you know what some of the more popular Meta scams look like, it’s time to take steps to avoid them. Remember that Meta will contact you personally if there’s a legitimate issue with your account. They may also lock or restrict your account if they suspect fraudulent activity. But to avoid becoming a victim in the first place, here are ways to avoid falling for a Facebook or Instagram scam:
Cybercriminals often pose as Meta or other trusted companies to phish for information from unsuspecting victims. Remember that official emails from Facebook or Instagram will only come from accounts ending in “@facebookmail.com” or “@mail.instagram.com.”
How to Contact Meta and Appeal
If you think your information has been compromised or someone has hijacked your Meta business accounts, contact Meta as soon as possible. Here are the different Meta email accounts to contact when your account is hacked:
To report or attempt to recover an account you can no longer access, go to the cover photo of the impacted page. Next, click on the icon with three dots directly beneath the cover photo. Then, select “Find Support or Report Page.” You can then choose the auto-generated option that’s most appropriate for your issue.
Tips to Keep Accounts Safe
One of the best things you can do to keep your professional Meta accounts safe is to create a strong password in the first place. Make sure this password is different from any other password you use. Avoid including any part of your name, birth date, or social security number in your password.
Another way to keep your Meta accounts secure is to enable two-factor authentication. If your password is ever successfully guessed or stolen, two-factor authentication will help keep your data safe. In addition, it adds another layer of security to your sensitive info. Most two-factor authentication processes use two of the three different factor types to verify your identity when logging in:
Something physical (like a phone app or security token) that only the account holder owns.
A piece of information (like a PIN or security question) known only by the account holder.
Typically, biometric credentials like a retina or fingerprint scan.
It may seem inconvenient to input additional information when you log in. But implementing two-factor authentication can keep your accounts secure.
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“44 Mind-Blowing SMS Marketing and Texting Statistics .” SlickText, 12 Aug. 2022, https://www.slicktext.com/blog/2018/11/44-mind-blowing-sms-marketing-and-texting-statistics/?utm_term=.
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