Avoiding scams on Facebook
If you see something you think is a scam, you should avoid responding and report the scam to Facebook.
Scams on Facebook happen when people create fake accounts or hack into existing Facebook accounts or Pages you've liked. The scammers use these fake or compromised accounts to trick you into giving them money or personal information.
Common scams on Facebook
- Romance scams: Romance scammers typically send romantic messages to people they don't know, often pretending to be divorced, widowed or in a bad marriage. They'll engage in online relationships in hopes of receiving money for flights or visas. Their goal is to gain your trust, so the conversations may continue for weeks before they ask for money.
- Lottery scams: Lottery scams are often carried out from accounts or Pages impersonating someone you know or an organisation (such as a government agency or Facebook). The messages will claim that you're amongst the winners of a lottery and that you can receive your money for a small advance fee. The scammer may ask you to provide personal information, such as your physical address or bank details.
- Loan scams: Loan scammers send messages and leave posts offering instant loans at a low interest rate for a small advance fee.
- Access token theft: A link is shared with you that requests access to your Facebook account or Page. The link may look like it came from a legitimate app, but instead it's a way for spammers to gain access to your account and spread spam.
- Job scams: Job scammers use misleading or fake job postings to try and get your personal information or your money. Avoid job postings that sound too good to be true or that ask you to pay anything upfront. When clicking on a link from a job posting, watch out for websites that seem unrelated to the original job posting or that ask for sensitive information (e.g. government ID) but don't use secure (https) browsing. For more tips, read our guidelines when looking for jobs on Facebook.
Things to look out for
- People who you don't know in person asking you for money.
- People asking you to send them money or gift cards to receive a loan, prize or other winnings.
- Anyone asking you to pay a fee in order to apply for a job.
- Pages representing large companies, organisations or public figures that are not verified.
- People asking you to move your conversation off Facebook to a less public or less secure setting, such as a separate email.
- People claiming to be a friend or relative in an emergency.
- People who misrepresent where they are located. If someone signs up for Messenger using their mobile phone number, you may be able to check which country their phone number is from. If you're concerned that a Page may be scamming you, you can check the Page's location.
- Messages or posts with poor spelling and grammatical mistakes.
- People or accounts directing you to a Page to claim a prize.
You can also learn more about keeping your account secure.