How do you know an email from Instagram or Facebook is a fake?

We all get fraudulent emails; it's what you do with them that matters

Hackers are after your Facebook or Instagram account

We all get them. Particularly if you're very active on social media. Emails that generally either a) freak you out (something terrible is about to happen to your account) or b) make you jump for joy even though deep down you know it probably is too good to be true (for example: 'Wow, this company is offering me an amazing collaboration.' or 'Yay, I qualify for the blue verification tick behind my name!').

Scammers are everywhere unfortunately. And they're getting better and better in pretending to be someone they're not. I've fallen for it too (read here how I got hacked). I think most of us however are getting pretty good at spotting fraudulent emails (funny email addresses, content that isn't quite right or simply having ' feeling' about it.


But when a reputable company seems to be sending you a legitimate email for a legitimate reason, particularly when security is concerned, our heart still skips a beat. They are being sent all.the.time. however. Even just today, I had three. Two telling me there was a 'Facebook' security breach and I should log in asap to ensure nothing bad would happen, and one telling me I qualified for a verified account. The latter was already filtered by my email client and had landed in junk. The other two however simply appeared in my inbox.

How to verify whether an email is from Facebook or Instagram

How do you recognise fraudulent Instagram / Facebook emails? As it turns out, verifying that an email came from Facebook or Instagram is incredibly simple but you need to know where to look. Here’s how.


On Facebook (desktop):


  1. Go to Account Settings on your own profile page, find the down-pointing triangle icon at top right. Click it, then choose Settings & Privacy > Settings to open the main Settings page.

  2. Find the emails that Facebook has sent you. Near the top left you should find Security and Login. Click that and scroll down to the Advanced section. Click the item titled “See recent emails from Facebook.”

  3. Match Your Message. If you see a match for the questionable message’s subject line, you can be pretty sure it’s legitimate. Be sure to look both in the list of Security-related messages and in the list titled Other.


On Facebook (mobile app):


The process on the mobile app is pretty much the same (Settings > Password and Security > Advanced See recent emails from Facebook).


On Instagram (desktop):


  1. Go to Settings. On your own profile page, find your small profile picture icon at the top right. Click it, then choose Settings to open the main Settings.

  2. Scroll down toEmails from Instagram.”

  3. Match Your Message. If you see a match for the questionable message’s subject line, you can be pretty sure it’s legitimate. Be sure to look both in the list of Security-related messages and in the list titled Other.


On Instagram (mobile app):


The process on the mobile app is pretty much the same (Settings > Security > Emails from Instagram).



Most Facebook or Instagram emails I receive are fake

Obviously the emails I received were fake. I pretty much guessed at much but I was still a little thrown by the email address, as it had a @facebookmail.com address, which sometimes is used by Facebook. Hackers really are master spoofers these days. I checked my accounts and no emails had been sent to me recently. So I went from being 99% certain I was being targeted, to 100%. Don't take the risk, always check. My default is to NEVER trust any of these types of emails, unless proven legit.


Don't fall for it

If this blog post has prevented even only one of you from being hacked it's been worth writing it. Were you aware you could do this simple email check to verify a Facebook or Instagram email?


Be safe!


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Hi! Thanks for stopping by!

I am Marieke, a Dutch Australian interior designer, business executive, tutor, content creator and social media influencer.

 

I also write blogs on styling tips, makeovers, interior designs and instagram insights.

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