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Verified Facebook pages got hacked and spread malware

Thankfully, all the hacked Facebook pages have been nixed from the platform

This image shows google al, a software engineer from washington d. C. , with 7. 3 million followers, 0 following, and an introduction post about their software, science, and technology. Full text: lo g bard google al o 7. 3m followers. 0 following & call now message @ follow posts about mentions followers photos videos more. Intro posts filters page - software. Science & tech google al... Washington d. C. , dc, united states, washington, district of may 2 at 8:33 pm. @ columbia notification
Image: KnowTechie

A number of verified Facebook pages were hacked and turned into verified scam accounts.

Nothing new about the internet is a hive of scum and villainy. Scammers have existed long before the internet and will likely outlast it. But this one takes it to a whole new level.

While scammers have been abundant on Facebook for years, getting their hands on actual verified accounts weren’t so easy. But that didn’t stop this group of well-timed hackers.

So what exactly is happening?

Social media consultant Matt Navarra provides an excellent timeline below:

Scammers hacked verified Facebook pages to impersonate Meta and Google, then ran ads tricking users into downloading malware.

It’s usually quite simple to distinguish between what’s real and what’s fake. However, while you may be well-versed in navigating the internet, countless others lack the same level of knowledge.

How not to get scammed by verified Meta accounts

This image shows a facebook profile page for meta ads, which has been confirmed as authentic by facebook, and has 27k likes, 28k followers, and 16 likes on posts. Full text: meta presents are we there yet? Facebook confirmed this profile is authentic. Meta ads o 27k likes. 28k followers contact us message 16 like posts about mentions followers photos videos more. ...

Generally, these scams follow the same lines as older scams. They look and sound official to the uneducated eye.

Then, in whatever post they have, they include a link to a relevant-looking website that has whatever malware planned out for you.

The link is surrounded by a bunch of copy that sounds like it could be official. But on the other hand, the copy could be anything from scare tactics or an exploration of new technologies for the inundated user.

Not only are Facebook ads common as scams, but now they come with hundreds of thousands of built-in followers as well.

Due to the ability to see verified users’ previous names, it’s easier to get insight into who has been hacked or not. One example on Twitter, from Matt Navarra, is an account named Miss Pooja, an Indian singer and actress.

This image is showing the history of changes to a google ai page, managed by a group or person who has not yet completed the verification process. Full text: page information for google ai 6 g bard google al software · science & tech organizations that manage this page Ÿ the person or group responsible for this page hasn't completed our verification process yet. Verified a verified badge now means an account has been verified with a government id, and may not be well known. Meta verified is a subscription that offers enhanced verification, proactive account protection and increased visibility in search, comments and recommendations. Learn more history changed name to google al april 29, 2023 changed name to miss pooja august 6, 2013 changed name to misspooja february 1, 2013 created - fans of miss pooja december 5, 2012

The account has seven million followers and has been kicking around for over a decade. However, that account changed its name to Google AI at the end of April 2023 and started running scam ads.

The ad was simple. “With the support of Google AI marketing campaigns, selling thousands of products/day is easy. See details here,” it says while including a simple link at the end.

What is Facebook doing about it?

Thankfully, all the hacked Facebook pages have been nixed from the platform, reports TechCrunch.

And according to Mashable, it sounds like these hijacked pages got their verification from Facebook before the debut of the pay-to-play Meta Verified system. But that’s not a glowing endorsement for Meta either.

If they can’t protect the true elite, what makes $15-a-month subscribers feel about their security on the platform?

Either way, many examples are out there; we wanted to call attention to them and say, “Don’t get scammed by Facebook ads.”

Have any thoughts on this? Drop us a line below in the comments, or carry the discussion to our Twitter or Facebook.

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After over a decade and a half of writing and journalism in games and multimedia, Arthur loves to talk tech, geek, and gaming, anytime, anywhere. He's the entire package: a gamer, a collector, and he knows how to build a computer. When he isn't writing, he also owns a local game shop, dealing in all various geeky antiquities.

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