June 15, 2024

Several users have reported encountering an unsettling message seeming to originate from Facebook, which threatens to deactivate their accounts unless they “authenticate” their personal details.

CHARLOTTE, N.C. — A troubling new text circulating on Facebook alleges to deactivate user profiles if they refuse to release personal details as a way to “authenticate” their account. 

The text informs users that they have shared deceptive content on their profile and warns them that their accounts will be disabled unless they verify their account information, including personal specifics, within the next 24 hours. This text has prompted multiple receivers to reach out to WCNC Charlotte’s Verify team seeking clarification on whether it’s authentic or a likely scam. 

This recent message shows up in your inbox pretending that you shared fictitious or misleading content under someone else’s pseudonym. 

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FINDINGS

Contrary to appearances, this is not an authentic notification, but rather a Facebook scam. As per Facebook’s policy, users should refrain from clicking on links in any suspicious messages that purport to be from Facebook. 

RELIABLE REFERENCES

  • Tom Bartholomy, Chief of the Better Business Bureau in Charlotte
  • Facebook

DISCOVERY

“This is not the mechanism they use to alert you if you’ve violated their security policies,” Bartholomy stated. 

He further explained that this is just one of the recent scams circulating on Facebook. 

“Their objective is to get you to hit on a hyperlink, which will then prompt you to input some personal details to confirm your identity as the alleged Facebook user. That’s their end game. They are mining your data.”

WCNC Charlotte’s Verify initiative is all about making a difference in the Carolinas by providing accurate information to the community. We clearly outline what we know and what remains unknown. Occasionally, the answers can be unexpected. Watch past stories that validate social media claims in the YouTube playlist below and subscribe to receive notifications when new videos are released.

Facebook’s help center advises users to always exercise caution when receiving texts from unknown senders. 

“Before you click on any links or attachments in emails or social media messages that seem to be from Facebook, always confirm if it was indeed sent by Facebook in your Facebook settings,” the company advised. “You may also want to keep an eye out for any grammar or spelling blunders in such posts, which are significant red flags. Additionally, it’s a good idea to check the link and see if it mentions Facebook or its parent organization, Meta.”

“That won’t take any effort at all,” Bartholomy assured. “Just hover over that to search for Facebook or Meta. It’s nothing but code, as they know that majority of people are unaware of this little trick.”

Feel free to reach out to Meghan Bragg at mbragg@wcnc.com and follow her on FacebookTwitter and Instagram.


VERIFY is committed to helping the public distinguish between true and false information. The VERIFY team, driven by queries submitted by the audience, tracks the distribution of stories or claims needing clarification or debunking. Is there something you want VERIFIED? Get in touch with us at 704-329-3600 or visit VERIFY.