Two months ago, we got a message from our page asking if they can advertise via our Facebook page. Immediately, I got interested for the sole reason that what they are offering is a weekly payment of $1000-$2000. Who wouldn’t want that right? I thought, years of work on our facebook page is finally paying off. We are about to get that elusive high payout from doing what we love. The offer was made more enticing because of that last statement: “Note: I do not need any access on the page”. Hooray! This is it! my ticket to getting that “internet gold” or is it another facebook page hack?
The Facebook Page Hack Process
Long story short, I agreed, the person asked for my email for faster communication. Nothing wrong there…so far. When I received the email some minor red flags came up, most of it are typos and simple grammatical errors. But because I really think they are legit, I proceeded. They sent me an email saying that I should click on the link, so I clicked it. I know what you would say, it was a dumb move right? Well no if the url is a legitimate facebook.com domain. Apparently, the link is an API link for facebook ads. Okay so when I clicked the link there are several things in the website that I must do and one of them is to choose which website will be used for advertisements. This was my first big red flag! Why? because I knew, the API is now able to access my account ( I am not sure if there was a layer where facebook warned me about account access) specifically my facebook page. But my argument was its $2000 it will help me buy the things I need to expand my content creation. But the next step bothered me…
The Biggest Red Flag on this Facebook Page Hack
So after following some of the steps in the Facebook Ads API that was sent to me. A part of the step states that the page where the API is on or the owner of the API will be given access to my page! Ooooppps! Wait! I thought they do not need access to my page? What’s worse is that their access level is Admin, which means they can immediately kick me out of my own page once they gain admin level access! This is when I thought of letting go of the illusion of gaining $2000 but not without wasting their time.
A Fan of James Veitch
So if you have watched James Veitch’s Ted Talk you would appreciate the fact that the time you spent delaying an online crook is less time for them to look for other victims. So, in honor of that statement, I tried to delay their process. I asked them a bunch of questions and made excuses on why I was not yet pressing that “OK” button. Next, I asked them if they could send the money first as a sign of good faith. They made excuses and we went back and forth on it, at one point I accepted their reason then suddenly told them that I changed my mind. They got fed up that they told me that I was just wasting their time and they would cancel the transaction. I said okay then marked them as spam and then deleted our conversation (this is the reason why I don’t have screen caps to show you).
The Power of Bloggers
Bloggers are here not only to entertain but also to inform. Sadly, that part of informing other people about my experience was neglected, for the sole reason that I need to earn money and the fact that no one will offer us $2000 for a tiny little blog site. But if we are able to get a chance we should inform people, inform our readers on this type of “criminal act”. Although, I have put my trust in people that they are able to discern these kinds of “acts”. Unfortunately, I was wrong, I just received another “request to advertise” on my page but this time the accounts were a lot more elaborate because their facebook accounts had recent posts. But what struck me was a comment (shown on the screencap below).
Apparently, these crooks will target any facebook page that has lots of followers and lots of activity. The kind of facebook page that the owner has worked for. Also, I recently saw a news about a celebrity vlogger whose facebook page was apparently “hacked” and the crooks are asking for $750 to restore her page ownership.
These account “stealers” (they should not be called hackers) only thrive on one human trait, GREED! They provide you with the illusion of getting astronomical amount of money to feed your GREED. In my experience, Greed blinded me from what is already obvious. As the old adage goes “if it is too good to be true, it is!” Greed also made me to almost give up years of content work just for a sudden offer of $2000 without any proof that this company is legit. At that point, all I saw was $2000 and everything else were blurred out. How do we avoid this? SIMPLE!
“If it is too good to be true! It most likely is!” Especially if it comes from a stranger. Remember what your parents told you when you were young, Do not accept candies from strangers.
NOTE: Sadly, Facebook has no answer to this kind of Scam using their platform. It is sad to know that it is on their Ads platform that the links were created and any developer can do this. I have not gone into extensive research on this but it is obvious that these crooks are using the URL as a disguise and to make their app look legit to the unsuspecting victims. In addition, Facebook is not really doing a great job on stopping people from creating multiple accounts on their platform. This is how these crooks are able to victimize a lot of people, when one account gets flagged they can make more!