Spotting Facebook scams on business pages

By: Richard Michie

Spotting Facebook scams on business pages can be a tricky game. Most Facebook users are pretty savvy about scams on their private pages, we’ve all had plenty of experience and have got wise to dodgy posts and ads.

But when it come to spotting Facebook scams on business pages we seem to draw a blank, maybe its because business pages on Facebook are a new thing for most people or perhaps it’s because admins on business pages feel more under pressure than on their private pages.

One recent scam, which Facebook should really clamp down on, is generated from within Facebook itself.

Here’s how it works: The page shares your post and tells you it’s been reported, though the details are very vague, and that you need to click the verification link to stop being blocked on Facebook.

DON’T CLICK THE LINK!!!!!!

Whatever you do don’t click the link! What happens if you did click it (you didn’t did you?) is that you’ll be asked to login to a site that looks like Facebook, the scammers will then have control of your Facebook page and will lock you out and take it over. Not good!

One of my client’s pages recently had their page shared by one of these scammers, luckily one of the other admins spotted it and asked me if it was genuine before they clicked on the link. One added complication is that this page which received the share is one of six pages owned by one business, so before anything else happened, I need to alert the other page admins about this potential scam to ensure that all the company pages where at risk. Here’s a screenshot of the scam share.

Spotting Facebook scams on business pages

How to spot Facebook scams on business pages

Scammers may be tricky people but most of the time they don’t pay much attention to detail. Lets go through this scam one step at a time.

  1. It’s a share and not a warning from Facebook. Since when did Facebook or any other site share your post rather than send you an alert?
  2. Would Facebook really have a page called Confirmation Page? Wouldn’t you have heard of it before?
  3. Since when did Facebook start any post with “Warning customers”?
  4. And exclamation marks?!
  5. The share says “re-confirm” 3 times, count em. Facebook have people who write their alerts they’re called copywriters, if they had to say that three times, they’d use different phrases.
  6. “If you are the original owner of this content” don’t they know?
  7. There’s a spare apostrophe floating around in the next to last line.
  8. The last sign-off line isn’t capitalised.
  9. Facebook isn’t capitalised either, see copywriters above.
  10. Finally, the big giveaway! The URL! These scammers haven’t even bothered to try and create a credible Facebook like address. Facebook want to keep you on Facebook, even when they are telling you off. If this was genuine they would be very unlikely to give you the raw URL to click and if they did you can bet it would be a Facebook URL.

These rules apply to most scams on the internet, but they are getting more prevalent on Facebook because for an increasing number of people, and businesses, Facebook is the internet.

If in doubt, don’t panic

Scammers want you to panic and click their link without thinking. They’re hoping you can’t be bothered to read the copy. They want to frighten you, play on your curiosity, or your greed – “You’ve won a prize!”.

As The Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy tells you – Don’t Panic. Take a minute, read the post again and see if your bullshit meter goes off. If it does delete the message and move on. If you’re still unsure, ask someone else to see what they think.

As a last rule, if you ever get a link you don’t trust DO NOT CLICK IT.

If I can help you make the most of your Facebook business pages give me a call on 07834 197785 or fill in this short form.

Interested in speaking to The Optimists?

Right from the beginning of our time working with The Marketing Optimist, they’ve taken the time and effort to get to understand Sharp Consultancy as a business and not just a client. We’ve seen a huge increase in the effectiveness of our social media strategy, particularly on Linkedin and we’re delighted with the impact it’s had on the business.

Jamie Caulfield

Regional Director, Sharp Consultancy

It was a pleasure to work with The Marketing Optimist on this project. It felt like a true collaborative effort on the day and they made the interviewee's feel at ease whilst talking about their journey on our RISE programme. The final video was professional and engaging, we have received great feedback around the quality and creativity of the case study. Including the video in our presentation made it come to life, with real humans sharing their stories, so thank you to the Marketing Optimist!

Hannah Prole

Impact Manager, Better Connect Limited

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Sharp Consultancy

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