How to report a Facebook scam

fc_dudeAt some point in your life, one or several of the Facebook scams out there might affect you enough to look for ways on how to report them and go on a vendetta rampage against the scam creator. In fact, one of the most effective tools against the prolific scammers on Facebook is to report their rogue applications, fake events, wall postings, etc. If enough people take the time to report the Facebook scam, then hopefully, eventually, Facebook will take action and shut them down!

So here goes. How exactly do you report a Facebook scam?

Tell Mark Zuckerberg

…or at the very least tell it to the people in his company tasked with monitoring and responding to Facebook scam complaints. Be on the lookout for that report button that’s hidden somewhere on the page like those hidden Mickeys on Disney channel.

1. Reporting a Link: Most Facebook scams propagate through the newsfeed. Here, you can already take action and report the scam link. Just hover your cursor over the post and you will see an X button appear on the right hand corner. Clicking this X button will then give you the option of marking that particular post as spam.

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Doing so will replace the post with this text:

Thanks for Your Help

Your feedback helps us keep News Feed clear of spam. Undo Spam Report

File a more detailed report

Clicking the “file a more detailed report” gives you the option of classifying the post as:

• Spam or scam

• Contains hate speech or attacks an individual

• Violence or harmful behavior

• Nudity, pornography, or sexually explicit content

2. Reporting an Application: Applications are popular scam vehicles because of the fact that they can legitimately mine your profile information. Of course, they can also convince you to do some other nifty and ultimately stupid things like answer a senseless survey about what type of werewolf are you, or what other things you do with your toothbrush aside from brush your teeth. It’s understandable how these mindless surveys can induce rage from people who are expecting a free iPad.

To report an application you must scroll down to the bottom of the page and look for the “report App” link which, interestingly enough is right above the share link. Clicking this link will then give you more options on how to categorize your complaint:

* Privacy issue

* Inappropriate or pornographic content

* Advertising issue

* Spam

* Bullying/Harassment

* Other

You can opt to send a copy of your complaint to the developer and you can also upload a screenshot to give the Facebook security team more info from which they can base their decision.

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Another option to report a rogue application is on the familiar application installation screen:

report_scam_app2

3. Reporting an Event or a Group: The report link for an event or a group can be found way down on the page after the messages. As with the report a page link, the options available here are:

* Spam or scam

* Contains hate speech or attacks an individual

* Violence or harmful behavior

* Nudity, pornography, or sexually explicit content

The wall automatically loads older posts as you scroll down so you may have to scroll down for quite a bit before you get to the report link at the very bottom of the page – which is a weird place to set a report button for a company that claims utmost vigilance in protecting its members against scams.

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4. Reporting a Message: The report button for Facebook users with the old messaging system can be found at the top bar before the message much like on yahoo mail, Gmail, etc. Just click the report as spam button and voila! The report is sent.

Things get a little more complicated for Facebook users having the new Facebook email. Here, you have to click the actions dropdown button and choose report as spam. Facebook will then ask you to confirm if it’s indeed spam. If yes, it will then move the message to the junk folder – presumably so you can peek at it again should you changed your mind later. The good thing in the new Facebook email is that you can also report or block the user who sent the spam message right from the dropdown.

5. Reporting a Photo or a Video: The report button for Photos and Videos can be found on the right-hand sidebar of the item. The options made available when you click the report link on a photo are:

Photo:

* Spam or scam

* Nudity or pornography

* Graphic violence

* Attacks individual or group

* Hate symbol

* Illegal drug use

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For a video, the options that appear upon clicking the report link are:

Video

* Spam or scam

* Contains hate speech or attacks an individual

* Violence or harmful behavior

* Nudity, pornography, or sexually explicit content

A caveat from Facebook Help though:

“It is not a violation of our Statement of Rights and Responsibilities to post a photo that is unflattering, so please don’t report a photo just because you don’t like the way you look in it.”

So if someone posts a picture of you drooling in your sleep while you scratch your exposed tummy or laughing out loud with an extra large booger in your nose – don’t get your hopes up that it will be taken down. But wait, the important thing is that you can report scams and spam right?

6. Report a Facebook User: In the event of a 419 scam, a cyberbullying scam or a case of identity theft, you can also report a Facebook user profile to the Facebook security group. Identity thefts and cyberbullying cases are pretty easy to recognize. 419 scams on the other hand may be a bit harder to identify since you never know when you are talking to a real Nigerian prince or a friend who got mugged in London and lost much of his or her English writing skills along with their wallet.

In any case, the report button for Facebook profiles can be found near the bottom of the left-hand sidebar – below the profile links, the friend list, the family list, the share profile link.. In fact the report link is the bottom-most link – it’s almost like scrolling down has become the digital version of Government red tape.

Upon clicking the report link, the following options are then made available to you:

Please select one of the following options:

* This is my profile, but I no longer have access to it

* This profile is pretending to be someone or is fake

* Inappropriate profile photo

* Inappropriate profile information

* This person is bullying or harassing me

Select the option below if you would like to block this person:

* Block “user name”

Blocking means you won’t be able to see or contact each other on Facebook.

7. Report to Facecrooks – Last but not least, be sure to report any scam you run across to us, so we can alert the Facecrooks community!

Reporting Facebook scams is definitely a very important part in keeping the whole social network secure. Security experts say that fighting Facebook scams is an uphill battle because it’s almost as easy for scammers to change scam links or create new profiles as it is for Facebook users to report these scams. You may be only one of the 600 million users on Facebook, but taken as a whole, it’s people who take the time to report scams, security issues and bugs that make this digital social frontier a safer place.



Recommended Resources

PRIVATE WiFi® is a Personal VPN that encrypts everything you send and receive. Don’t access Facebook from a public WiFi hotspot without it.

IDrive® Secure, fast and simple online backup – 5G Free!

DoNotTrackMe® is a used by millions of people worldwide for free to block web tracking and spam email. Advanced Premium features ($5/mo.) allow you to protect more private information by creating one-time use, private credit cards when you shop online.

BitDefender Safego is a Facebook application you can install that will scan your News Feed and help keep you safe from scams on Facebook.

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