We’ve all heard the horror stories about stolen identities when our names and photos are stolen and used to create fake accounts on social media like Facebook and Twitter. It has happened to me before on Twitter, but they corrected the problem quickly. Then with two-factor authentication, I thought I was protected on all social media. As it turns out, I wasn’t. Now I am dealing with another attack, this time on Facebook.
Despite all their huffing and puffing with press releases and news stories, based on my personal experience, Facebook is simply not protecting or taking care of users. Period. Even when users report the problem to them directly.
This is a major weak link in the Facebook/Meta story.
I have been fortunate. My social media accounts have grown with so many followers on Twitter and LinkedIn and I thank you! I use social media to amplify and spread my thoughts, columns, quotes in news stories and so on.
I don’t use Facebook for business but have an account to stay in touch now and then with family and friends.
Recently, I started getting email from my contacts that they were being pestered by someone using my name and picture trying to scam them with offers about Medicare or something crazy like that.
After logging onto Facebook, I found my account seemed secure. However, this new fraudulent account with my name and photo, which is not under my control, was also alive and kicking.
And somehow, it tied itself to my friend list. So, they are continually annoying my user list.
I knew what had to be done. So, thinking quickly, I just reported it to Facebook. They would take care of it, I hoped.
That was easier said than done. First, I spent time sorting through countless Facebook pages trying to find a way to let them know.
This is another problem they need to fix. They need to make getting help quick and easy.
I finally found the link and reported to them. Several times as a matter of fact as they sent me replies which made no sense. They saw no problem in the fact that my name and likeness were being hacked.
This is yet another major weak link Facebook needs to fix.
The Facebook reply to my plea for help:
On Sep 23, 2022, at 9:20 AM, Facebook wrote:
Thanks for letting us know about something you think may go against our Community Standards. Reports like yours are an important part of making Facebook a safe and welcoming environment for everyone. In this case, we reviewed the profile you reported and found that it doesn’t go against our Community Standards.
Note: If you see something on someone’s profile that shouldn’t be on Facebook, be sure to report the specific content (ex: a photo or video), instead of the entire profile. This will help us review your report more accurately.
This reply was wrong on so many levels.
First, I did not select the Community Standards link. But my notice was sent via that channel for some reason.
Second, after sending this message several times, trying to wake them up, they kept replying with the same, wrong message.
I continued to cry for help, but it’s like nobody was home.
And Meta wants to leave the entire business up to AI?
At best, they simply do not understand. At worst, they don’t care that users are being scammed and hacked leaving all followers vulnerable as well.
The result, Facebook’s name and reputation are being hurt.
Now multiply this by countless times as others are also wrestling with the same problem, and you can see the size of the problem that they simply ignore.
How many other Facebook users are being harmed as well?
Bottom line, based on my experience, Facebook user protection and help is non-existent.
The problem is either lack of concern and care for the user, or the staff simply does not pay attention. I don’t know which one is worse.
I understand Facebook and parent Meta have more users than they can count. I also understand there are likely more fraudulent actors than they can respond to.
However, if they are asking users to trust them, they should be there to protect us from bad actors. Especially when users report a violation and ask Facebook for help. They should respond to requests for help in stopping this fraud.
So, let me help you protect yourself. Don’t consider Facebook secure. I am sorry to say this, but apparently, they are of no help.