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Copyright Infringement Facebook Phishing Scam

by Brett M. Christensen

Facebook users should keep an eye out for fake copyright infringement warnings that are being distributed via Facebook private messages.

The fraudulent messages,  which at first glance may appear to be official Facebook notifications, claim that your account is to be deactivated due to a large number of copyright infringement reports.

The messages suggest that you click a link to complete an appeal form if you think the account deactivation is a mistake.

Here’s an example of one of the messages:
Copyright Infringement Facebook Scam

‎​​​‌‍‎​​​‌‍‎​​​‌‍‎​​​‌‍‎​​​‌‍‎​​​‌‍‎​​​‌‍‎​​​‌‍‎​​​‌‍‎​​​‌‍‎​​​‌‍‎​​​‌‍‎​​​‌‍‎​​​‌‍‎​​​‌‍‎​​​‌‍‎​​​‌‍‎​​​‌‍‎​​​‌‍‎​​​‌‍‎​​​‌‍‎​​​‌‍‎​​​‌‍‎​​​‌‍‎​​​‌‍‎​​​‌‍‎​​​‌‍‎​​​‌‍‎​​​‌‍‎​​​‌‍‎​​​‌‍‎​​​‌‍‎​​​‌‍‎​​​‌‍‎​​​‌‍‎​​​‌‍‎​​​‌‍‎​​​‌‍‎​​​‌‍‎​​​‌‍‎​​​‌‍‎​​​‌‍‎​​​‌‍‎​​​‌‍‎​​​‌‍‎​​

*A‌‍‎​​​f‌‍‎​​​t‌‍‎​​​e‌‍‎​​​‌‍‎​​​‌‍‎​​​‌‍‎​​​r‌‍‎​​​‌‍‎​​​‌‍‎​​​ a‌‍‎​​​‌‍‎​​​ large‌‍‎​​​‌‍‎​​​‌‍‎​​​ number‌‍‎​​​‌‍‎​​​ of‌‍‎​​​ copyright infringement‌‍‎​​​ reports‌‍‎​​​‌‍‎​​​ directed‌‍‎​​​‌‍‎​​​‌‍‎​​​ to‌‍‎​​​‌‍‎​​​‌‍‎​​​ your‌‍‎​​​‌‍‎​​​‌‍‎​​​ account‌‍‎​​​‌‍‎​​​‌‍‎​​​ ,‌‍‎​​​‌‍‎​​​‌‍‎​​​ we‌‍‎​​​‌‍‎​​​‌‍‎​​​ are sorry‌‍ to inform you that‌‍‎​​​ we‌‍‎​​​ ‌‍‎​​​h‌‍‎​​​‌‍‎​​​‌‍‎​​​ave to‌‍‎​​​‌‍‎​​​ deactivate‌‍‎​​​‌‍‎​​​‌‍‎​​​‌‍‎​​​‌‍‎​​​‌‍‎​​​ your‌‍‎​​​‌‍‎​​​‌‍‎​​​‌‍‎​​​ account‌‍‎​​​‌‍‎​​​‌‍‎​​​.‌‍‎​​​‌‍‎​​​‌‍‎​​​
W‌‍‎​​​‌‍‎​​​‌‍‎​​​e‌‍‎​​​‌‍‎​​​‌‍‎​​​ ‌‍‎​​​‌‍‎​​​‌‍‎​​​made‌‍‎​​​‌‍‎​​​‌‍‎​​​ this‌‍‎​​​‌‍‎​​​‌‍‎​​​ decision‌‍‎​​​‌‍‎​​​‌‍‎​​​​​​‌‍‎​​​‌‍‎​​​‌‍‎​​​ after‌‍‎​​​‌‍‎​​​‌‍‎​​​ we‌‍‎​​​‌‍‎​​​‌‍‎​​​ checked‌‍‎​​​‌‍‎​​​‌‍‎​​​ your‌‍‎​​​‌‍‎​​​ acco‌‍‎​​​‌‍‎​​​unt‌‍‎​​​‌‍‎​​​ activity‌‍‎​​​‌‍‎​​​ a‌‍‎​​​nd‌‍‎​​​ ‌‍‎​​​i‌‍‎​​​t‌‍‎​​​ ‌‍‎​​​was‌‍‎​​​ ‌‍‎​​​c‌‍‎​​​o‌‍‎​​​nfirmed‌‍‎​​​ that‌‍‎​​​ you‌‍‎​​​ h‌‍‎​​​a‌‍‎​​​v‌‍‎​​​e‌‍‎​​​ ‌‍‎​​​i‌‍‎​​​n‌‍‎​​​f‌‍‎​​​r‌‍‎​​​i‌‍‎​​​nged‌‍‎​​​ others‌‍‎​​​ copyright‌‍ o‌‍‎​​​wnersh‌‍‎​​​‌‍‎​​​ip‎​​​.
‎​​​If‌‍‎​​​ you‌‍‎​​​ think‌‍‎​​​ this is‌‍‎​​​ a‌‍‎​​​ mistake‌‍‎​​​ we‌‍‎​​​ provided‌‍‎​​​ you an‌‍‎​​​ appeal‌‍‎​​​ form‌‍‎​​​ below‌‍‎​​​:

[Link removed]

‎​​•Note:‌‍‎​​​ Please‌‍‎​​​ keep‌‍‎​​​ in‌‍‎​​​ mind that‌‍‎​​​ if‌‍‎​​​ we‌‍‎​​​ do‌‍‎​​​ not‌‍‎​​​ recieve an‎​​​ appeal‌‍‎​​​ from‌‍‎​​​ your account‌‍‎​​​ we‌‍‎​​​ have‌‍‎​​​ to‌‍‎​​​ respect the‌‍‎​​​ decision‌‍​ mentio‌‍‎​​​‌‍‎​​​‌‍‎​​​‌‍‎​​​‌‍‎​​​‌‍‎​​​ned abo‌‍‎​​​‌‍‎​​​‌‍‎​​​‌‍‎​​​‌‍‎​​​‌‍‎​​​‌‍‎​​​ve.

However, Facebook did not send the message and your account is not about to be deactivated as claimed.

In fact, the message is a phishing scam designed to steal your Facebook account login details. It has no connection to Facebook. Note that genuine Facebook notifications would never use a link supplied by URL shortening service bit.ly.

If you click the link, you will be taken to a fraudulent website that gives the illusion that it is part of Facebook. The web address of the fake page contains the words “facebook.com” in an effort to fool people into believing that they are still on Facebook.

When you arrive at the fake website, the following fake copyright notice will be displayed:

Fake Facebook Copyright Notice

When you click the “Continue” button, the following  bogus “Facebook Security” form will load in your browser:

 

Facebook Fake Update FormAfter you complete the form, you will be automatically redirected to the Page Guidelines help file on the genuine Facebook website.

Meanwhile, the scammers can collect the information you submitted on the fake form and use it to hijack your Facebook account. Once they have gained control of your account, they can lock you out and begin using your account to distribute spam and scam messages in your name.
Criminals regularly use fake Facebook Security messages to trick people into handing over their login credentials. Be wary of any message that claims to be from Facebook and instructs you to click a link to rectify a supposed account problem.

Always login to Facebook by entering the address into your browser’s address bar or via a trusted app. If there really is an account problem, you will generally be informed of the issue after you log in.

Facebook includes information about avoiding and reporting such phishing scams in its help files.

Importance Notice

After considerable thought and with an ache in my heart, I have decided that the time has come to close down the Hoax-Slayer website.

These days, the site does not generate enough revenue to cover expenses, and I do not have the financial resources to sustain it going forward.

Moreover, I now work long hours in a full-time and physically taxing job, so maintaining and managing the website and publishing new material has become difficult for me.

And finally, after 18 years of writing about scams and hoaxes, I feel that it is time for me to take my fingers off the keyboard and focus on other projects and pastimes.

When I first started Hoax-Slayer, I never dreamed that I would still be working on the project all these years later or that it would become such an important part of my life. It's been a fantastic and engaging experience and one that I will always treasure.

I hope that my work over the years has helped to make the Internet a little safer and thwarted the activities of at least a few scammers and malicious pranksters.

A Big Thank You

I would also like to thank all of those wonderful people who have supported the project by sharing information from the site, contributing examples of scams and hoaxes, offering suggestions, donating funds, or helping behind the scenes.

I would especially like to thank David White for his tireless contribution to the Hoax-Slayer Facebook Page over many years. David's support has been invaluable, and I can not thank him enough.

Closing Date

Hoax-Slayer will still be around for a few weeks while I wind things down. The site will go offline on May 31, 2021. While I will not be publishing any new posts, you can still access existing material on the site until the date of closure.

Thank you, one and all!

Brett Christensen,
Hoax-Slayer