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Don’t Get Caught by These Nasty Facebook Messenger Scams

by Brett M. Christensen

Let’s review a common Facebook Messenger-based scam tactic that continues to gain new victims. These are scams that all Facebook users need to be aware of.

The scam messages claim that a friend has found videos or photos of you that you need to look at. The messages, which come from the accounts of your Facebook friends, often imply that the photos or videos are compromising in some way.

They are designed to trick you into clicking a link without thinking about it too much. The scammers hope that you might be panicked into quickly clicking because you mistakenly believe that private or embarrassing material about you has been published online.

The scams, which sometimes include a blurred image or video screenshot, have text such as the following:

There are many other variations.

If you do click, you will be taken to a fraudulent website that claims that you must enter your Facebook login details to see the content. Scammers can steal the login credentials you enter and hijack your Facebook account.

Once they have gained access, they can then send the same scam message to your friends. They can also use the compromised accounts to spread further scam and spam messages in your name.

If one of these messages appears in your Messenger inbox, don’t click on it! If possible, inform the person whose account the scam message came from that their account is being misused.

If you have already clicked and entered your login details, you will need to take steps to secure your account as quickly as possible. First, see if you can still log in to Facebook with your existing credentials. (You may already be logged in).

If you can log in, or you are already logged in, jump into your security settings and change your password immediately. Then, click “Log out of all sessions” and log in again with your new password. Facebook has information about what to do if your account has been hacked in its help section.

There are plenty of other types of scam on Facebook, but this one is especially insidious because the scam messages do actually come from the accounts of people that you know and trust so you might be more likely to click without due caution.  

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,