Hearing “Facebook fraud” will likely elicit thoughts of identity theft or catfishing. Facebook fraud goes beyond identity theft. A recent NPR story covered a Facebook customer service scam; the helpline at the top of a Google search directed callers to a scam. The scamming customer service agent at the other end of the line only wants your money. This Facebook customer service scam is another example warning you not to trust everything you find on the Internet.
If you were booted out of your Facebook, what would you do? After failed attempts to log in, you’d likely search for the customer service helpline. NPR surveyed dozens of Facebook users who did this same thing, and found they were directed to the scammer’s number. The suspicious answer instructed them to go to a local Target or Walmart to buy an iTunes gift card. Following the purchase, the caller was to give the scammer the 16-digit code on the back.
NPR also reported the false number found on Google circulated around Facebook. In a help chat room, the Facebook Help Team responded to a inquiry about the number. They said it is likely a scam and to avoid using it. The number was taken down.
This customer service scam distressed many users. How could they contact Facebook to regain access into their accounts? Facebook’s help webpage answers many commonly asked questions. It contains an entire section on privacy settings.
The customer service scam on Facebook is an unfortunate reminder for you to be cautious when you’re online. Scammers can hack into trusted sites and search engines to redirect you into a scam. The best way to avoid contacting frauds is to go through the site itself to find contact information. Going to the Facebook help page directly alleviates chances for fraudulence. There is no way to completely eliminate scamming opportunities, but going to the site’s help page will help you to protect yourself.