Be Aware: Facebook Account Deletion Scam – Your Account/Page is Scheduled for Permanent Deletion
Facebook is one of the biggest social media platforms, with roughly 3 billion monthly active users. This massive active user base also attracts scammers to trick users with scams and access their personal information or gain financial benefits.
One such popular scam technique they use is sending users messages that their account/page is about to get permanently deleted. So, let’s dive deep into this Facebook account deletion scam and cover everything to deal with these scams efficiently.
Facebook Account Deletion Scam – A Quick Overview
The Facebook account deletion scam commonly starts by sending you a message via Messenger, email, text message, or a direct post on your Facebook wall. The message intends to pressure you by mentioning that you are violating Facebook terms and conditions or community standards.
The message can mention community standards violations, inappropriate posted content, too many friend requests, suspicious detected activity, or other similar reasons. Based on the reason, the message pressurizes you to take specific actions to avoid suspension/deletion of the account. These actions are often related to clicking a link, calling a number, etc.
Below are some of the common scam messages that scammers send to Facebook users:
- “Your account has been suspended. This is because your account, or activity on it, doesn’t follow our Community Standards.”
- “Your Facebook account is due to be deactivated in 48 hours due to unusual activity detected. Please verify to avoid losing your profile.”
- “Urgent: Last chance to avoid Facebook account termination for inappropriate content posted.”
- “Warning: Your Facebook account is scheduled for permanent deletion in 24 hours due to multiple community standards violations.”
- “Alert: Your Facebook account has been flagged for immediate deactivation due to suspicious activity.”
- “Final Notice: Comply immediately or your Facebook access will be revoked for multiple terms of service breaches.”
This way, scammers deliver a legitimate-looking message that is meant to scare users and let them quickly follow the instructions.
Account Deactivation Threat. Source: MalwareTips.com
Once you get into the trap and click the link, you will be taken to a legitimate-looking fraudulent page that almost mimics the interface of the original website.
Malicious Facebook-Similar Page. Source: Trend Micro
From there, scammers will either make you enter your login credentials or install malware in your system. Besides web links, scammers may also give a phone number to contact, which is also meant to trap you into sharing credentials or other sensitive information.
Once successful, scammers will hijack your account for malicious purposes, try to scam your friends, use your sensitive financial information to steal money, or install malware in your system.
Which Facebook Users Are the Most Vulnerable to the Scam?
Although all Facebook users are vulnerable to the scam, some groups of users are more likely to become the victim. These include but are not limited to:
- Inactive Facebook users
- Recent policy violators
- Aged Facebook users
- Users with large friend lists
- Business page owners
Commonly, scammers send the message to a large group of users without any specific filters. So, anyone who gets into the fear of losing chats, images, videos, and posts is trapped in such scams.
How to Detect If It’s a Scam?
You never know when you will see a scam attempt. However, there are a few common signs that can help you detect if it’s a scam message/post:
- Suspicious message that creates urgency.
- Asks for sensitive personal information, such as your password, bank details, identity information, etc.
- Grammar or sentence structure errors.
- Strange post on your profile about the account suspension/deletion.
- The message link takes to a fake page or third-party website.
- Suspicious and sudden message/post from your friend.
In short, you should activate your senses when you see any message/post that is related to account deletion, deactivation, or suspension. Even if the scammer sends a different message, you can still detect if it’s a scam if the link it takes you has a strange URL and asks for sensitive personal details.
Malicious Link. Source: Trend Micro
What’s Next if You Fell For the Facebook Account Deletion Scam?
If you unfortunately fell for this scam, then don’t panic. You can take a few quick measures to block scammers from harming you. So, below are some essential steps you should follow right away:
- Change Password: The first thing is to change your Facebook password. Furthermore, if you have used the same credentials in other services, then change the password from them as well.
- Block Debit/Credit Card: If you have shared sensitive information about your debit/credit card, then immediately block the card. In addition, check your bank statement and ensure there are no unauthorized charges.
- Alert Friends: Scammers may use your account to trap your friends in similar scams or ask for money. So, alert all your friends about any such suspicious message from your side.
- Get Facebook Involved: Interact with the Facebook help forum to report the scam and get further assistance on the compromised account.
- Scan for Malware: If the link downloaded something on your system, immediately delete it. Furthermore, scan your computer for malware with the software of your choice.
- Check Activity Log: Go through your Facebook activity log to detect any unauthorized posts or messages.
Overall, if you take the mitigation steps discussed above quickly, you can reduce the impacts and even send scammers out before they can do any damage.
Best Practices to Avoid Facebook Account Deletion Scam
The Facebook account deletion scam is avoidable if you follow a few best practices, as follows:
- Ignore unsolicited messages
- Don’t click or call on any message related to account suspension/deletion
- Enable two-factor authentication
- Check the URL of any link you click to validate it is the right/original URL
- Limit the number of friends
- If you receive any suspicious message from a friend, validate it by contacting the friend from any other platform
- Report suspicious messages/posts to Facebook
- Use strong passwords and regularly change passwords
- Designate account recovery contacts
All the above practices and similar others can help you reduce the chances of a Facebook scam.
Wrapping Up – Act Smart Before It’s Too Late
The Facebook account deletion scam has been in full swing for many years now. So, we are on our own to detect such scam activities and avoid sharing our sensitive information. Therefore, this guide will wrap up by recommending you act smart whenever you receive anything related to your Facebook account. Facebook never contacts users this way, so don’t get lured into the trap.