BBB Scam Alert: “Your Account Has Been Deactivated”
Con artists are sending fake messages to business owners in an attempt to gain access to sensitive information.
How the Scam Works
A very real looking email appears to come from Facebook or Google. It has all the right logos and uses professional language informing users the ad account hasn’t been following the rules recently implemented and has been or will be deactivated. To find out more information and to reactivate the account, the email urgently asks the recipient to click on a link.
No matter how convincing the email seems, don’t click the link! It could download malware onto the device and compromise personal or business related information. In some cases, the link in the email leads to a fake login page prompting visitors to key in an ID and password. Once entered, scammers have access to the account.
How to Avoid Email Scams
- Verify the status of your account before you act.
Even if an email looks convincing, go to the official website and try logging into the account before clicking any links in an email or reply with personal information. If the deactivated” account is still up and running, the email is a scam.
- Never click on links in questionable emails.
Scammers make links and webpages that look real, but even an official looking webpage could be infected with malware. Never click on links in unsolicited messages to avoid phishing scams.
- Watch out for shortened links.
Many scammers prompt people to click on shortened links, such as Bit.ly or Goo.gl. This make it difficult to know where this the link will lead.
- Take advantage of Facebook security features.
Facebook has a security feature that allows users to see if security related messages are legitimate. Check the tool to see if the message you received is fake and then report it.
- Don’t be hasty because of an “urgent” message.
Scammers like to mislead their victims with serious situations that require immediate action. Even if a message claims the account is about to be deactivated or the password is being reset, don’t panic. If it seems unlikely, use caution and verify the claim before acting.
For More Information
Expose con artists’ tactics by reporting your experience at BBB.org/ScamTracker.
(WZQZ Chattooga County Radio)