If you ever found yourself in need of customer support for Facebook, how would you go about finding it? If you’re like tens of thousands of other people, you might do a quick Google search to locate the information you’re after. Do that, and you could wind up on the receiving end of yet another scam.
Search for “Facebook customer service,” and there’s a good chance that your search engine will show you a toll-free phone number you can call. The call might be free, but the advice that the “customer service agent” on the other end gives you can cost you plenty if you follow it.
NPR’s Aarti Shahani recently filed a report for Morning Edition. Shahani performed that exact search query in his browser and was shown a snippet that contained a 1-844 number that supposedly would connect him to a Facebook rep. When NPR staffers called the number, the line was picked up but no one spoke. They could hear murmuring in the background, which makes sense given where their call had been routed.
While the phone at the other end may have been in a call center, it was definitely not one that belonged to Facebook. Facebook’s own help documentation spells things out pretty cleary: “There isn’t a direct phone number that will connect you with Facebook support.”
That’s when NPR turned to Pindrop, a security firm that specializes in telephone-based fraud prevention.
Pindrop called back, and they got to speak with an actual human — one who claimed to be a Facebook employee. The caller pretended to need assistance getting back into his account. The proposed solution: go buy an iTunes card and call the number back with the 16-digit code on the back. For verification purposes, naturally.
As Subtle As A Brick Through A Window
This one ranks right up there with the least subtle scams ever. Facebook already has loads of personal information about on file. There’s a good chance you’ve given them an email address, phone number, and date of birth. They know who your friends and family are.
There’s also absolutely no way they could verify that you are who you say you are just because you read them an iTunes gift card code.
So How Do You Get Customer Service From Facebook?
The Facebook Help Community is a good place to start. It’s a message board where you can post any questions you might have. Having trouble logging in to your account? There’s a special form for those issues on this Facebook page.
I’ve reached out to Facebook to see if they have any other helpful tips to offer and will update this post when I hear back.