DATCP warns of Facebook message phishing scams

scam(Miranda O'Bryan)
Published: Sep. 9, 2022 at 5:58 PM CDT
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MADISON, Wis. (WMTV) - Consumer experts are warning the public of scams involving fraudulent Facebook messages from those appearing to be customer service representatives or automated systems.

According to Department of Agriculture Trade and Consumer Protection’s Bureau of Consumer Protection, a large number of these phony messages have been reported lately. The messages typically arrive in an email, text or Facebook private message.

The agency explained Thursday that the messages will claim the recipient’s Facebook account has been hacked, stolen or disabled. It will then encourage the user to click a link in order to recover the account.

If the person opens the link, they will be asked to “log in” to a website that looks like Facebook, but is actually a fake website used to steal personal account information.

This type of scam is known as phishing, DATCP noted and is not just limited to Facebook. While Facebook is one of the most commonly impersonated social media sites because of its popularity, other platforms are targeted too.

DATCP said that anyone who thinks they received an unsolicited message or thinks other social media accounts have been compromised should follow these steps (wording theirs):

  • Do not reply to the message, call, or text any number provided in the message.
  • Do not provide any of your account information or passwords.
  • Do not click any links or open any attachments in the message. These may contain viruses or malware that could be installed onto your device without your permission or knowledge.
  • If you do click on a link in a suspicious message, you may want to have your device scanned for viruses and malware at a reputable computer or cell phone repair establishment. Change your passwords on a separate, secure device as soon as possible.

Users can also go to this page on Facebook if they believe their personal page has been hacked.