Some scams just won’t die. The Facebook shutdown scam is the perfect example.As long as people keep falling for it, it will keep coming back. Don’t let the scam fool you this time… or in a few months when it pops up again.
How the Scam Works:
You are on Facebook, and you see a post in your news feed claiming that your Facebook account will be shut down on May 18th. It appears to be official, posted by either Facebook’s corporate account or claiming that it’s Mark Zuckerberg.
Want to avoid deactivation? It’s easy, claims the post, just “register” your account online. To do this, follow a link to a third-party website, copy the code and paste it into the platform developers use to deal with Facebook. If you do this, you’ll find that scammers now have access to your account. You may start auto-liking spam posts and profiles or sending spam to your friends.
This Facebook shutdown scam has popped up every few months for the last three years. It may take a slightly different form next time, but don’t be fooled. Facebook isn’t closing anytime soon.
Tips to Protect Yourself:
- Don’t take the bait. Stay away from promotions of “exclusive,” “shocking” or “sensational” footage. If it sounds too outlandish to be true (um, like a gigantic website shutting down on a week’s notice), it is probably a scam.
- Don’t trust your friends’ taste online. It might not actually be them “liking” or sharing scam links to photos. Their account may have been hacked. But it may also be clickjacking, a technique that scammers use to trick you into clicking something that you wouldn’t otherwise (especially the Facebook “Like” button).
- Verify before you share: On the flip side, do your friends a favor and verify any sensational posts before you like or share them. A quick Google search should do the trick.
- Compromised account? If your Facebook account is sending out spam, you can stop it by following Facebook’s instructions.
- Report spam on Facebook by following these instructions.