In today’s digital environment, it’s important to be mindful of the messages we receive and to distinguish between legitimate communication and potentially harmful ones.
Scammers and cybercriminals will often impersonate well-known platforms like Meta, Facebook, and Instagram to deceive users, which is why it’s crucial to always verify official communications before sending any personal information. The consequences of falling victim to one of these scammers can be the loss of personal information like sentimental photos/videos, identity theft, credit card info, and harmful impersonation, to name a few.
To help protect your online safety, we have compiled recommended best practices for verifying official communications from these platforms.
Let’s work together to stay safe and secure online.
Tip # 1: Check the Sender’s Email Address:
Legitimate emails from Meta, Facebook, and Instagram will always come from official domains. Be cautious of emails with unusual or suspicious addresses. Here’s what to look for:
|Real Email Examples||Scammer Email Examples|
Note that official communication should always have the platform’s name after the “@” symbol in the email address. Do not send or trust information from an email address that seems to be impersonating an official source, as the consequences can be non-reversible in some unfortunate cases.
Tip # 2: Examine the Typeface:
Another way to identify legitimate Meta emails is to examine the font used in the email. Typically Meta uses a sans-serif font like Arial or Helvetica, not serif fonts like Times New Roman.
|Sans-Serif Fonts||Serif Fonts|
If you notice a peculiar or newspaper-like font in an email, it’s likely not from Meta, Facebook, or Instagram. In such cases, avoid opening or engaging with the email.
You also want to examine the subject or in-question email for any spelling or grammatical errors, as many scammers will not bother to take them out of their scam communications.
Tip # 3: Email Verification
If you ever doubt the authenticity of an email or message, visit the “Avoid Spams and Scams” page on the respective platform’s website for more information (desktop is recommended). You can also verify recent security and login emails sent to you by checking the “Security & Login” page in your account settings.
There will never be an email sent regarding your account security that is not recorded in your account settings, so this is a surefire way to deduce whether an email is real or from a malicious scammer trying to collect your information.
Tip # 4: Beware of Fake Pages and Accounts:
Be cautious of posts or direct messages claiming that you’ve violated Community Standards or that your access is being removed.
Meta, Facebook, and Instagram will never tag or DM you with such notifications. Always cross-verify the source by checking your social media account before taking any action through a suspicious email.
Tip # 5: Accidental Clicks:
If you accidentally click on a suspicious link, take immediate action to secure your account:
- Change your password immediately, choosing a strong password.
- Enable Two-Factor Authentication (2FA) for added account security.
Tip # 6: Verify Phone Calls:
If you receive a call from a suspicious “Facebook representative,” ask them to send you an email from their official Meta-affiliated email address to verify their affiliation. Here is a list of recognized Meta-affiliated email addresses:
If the phone representative cannot send a verified email from one of the above listed domains, immediately hang up and ensure your account is secure.
The Verified Badge:
Official Meta, Facebook, and Instagram Pages always display a blue verified badge to indicate authenticity. The badge represents that Facebook has confirmed the authenticity of that person or brand. Previously, it required notability and uniqueness, but this requirement has been updated.
The verified badge helps users find real Pages and profiles. If a Page or profile has the badge, it represents who it claims to be. Posts and content from verified Pages and profiles are not verified by Facebook and do not imply endorsement.
Be cautious who you do business with or offer information to across social media platforms, even when they are verified. Card information, personal information, and login information should always be protected to keep your identity safe.
Reporting Fake Pages:
If you come across suspicious Pages claiming to be Meta properties without a verified badge, report them immediately. Here’s how to report a fake Facebook Page on the platform’s website. Taking time to do this helps keep others safe on these popular social media platforms.
In today’s digital landscape, where we use various platforms and tools to communicate, it is crucial to prioritize online safety. As it stands, online safety is personal safety.
To protect yourself from fraudulent communications, and ensure that you interact with the real Meta, Facebook, and Instagram platforms, it is important to follow the above best practices. By staying vigilant and being aware of potential threats, you can ensure that you and your loved ones remain safe while using these platforms.
Always make sure to verify the source of any communication and never share personal information with unknown parties. These simple steps can go a long way in ensuring your online safety.