WARNING: Facebook “Verified Page” Scam Leads to Hijacked Pages

alertThere is a new scam on Facebook that tries to hijack pages from their administrators by posing as a page verification message from Facebook. Freshome, an online architectural magazine, fell victim to the scam, and lost control of their Facebook page.

Here’s how the hoax works: a cybercriminal created a fake profile with the user name “Verified Page.” Their profile picture was the Facebook verified page symbol, so when the cybercriminal sent a message from this profile to Freshome, they thought that Facebook was finally contacting them to verify their company Facebook page. However, the hoaxer instead took control of the magazine’s page and unpublished it.

What’s worse, this scam is apparently spreading; the issue has already been raised several times on Facebook’s Help Page.

It’s important to note that there is no way to request for your page to become verified by Facebook. The site decides, through a somewhat mysterious rubric, what pages do and do not qualify for their blue verification checkmark. According to Facebook’s page verification guidelines, they typically offer verification for celebrities, journalists, government officials and popular brands and businesses. If you have any doubts at all about the source of the page verification message you’ve received, DO NOT comply with its instructions. Instead, ask Facebook directly if your page has been verified, or inform them of the hoax.

It’s also important to note that Facebook doesn’t provide for an easy way to reclaim hijacked pages. If you lose it, then it will be very difficult, if not impossible to reclaim. There is no dedicated customer support for Facebook Pages. We strongly recommend Page Admins enable login approvals as an extra layer of account protection.

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