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Did Your Social Media Account Get Hacked?

Why you should never pay to recover your social media account

Is there anything more frustrating than being unable to access your social media accounts? Scammers are betting there isn’t. Lately, BBB Scam Tracker has seen multiple reports of a scam in which con artists trick people out of their money by promising they can recover social media accounts.

How this scam works

You’ve been locked out of your social media account and can’t seem to get back in. While searching for a solution, you come across a company that claims they can help you recover your account for a fee. Feeling that you’ve exhausted all your options, you decide to give them a try. However, as time passes, costs begin to mount, and your account still needs to be recovered. In addition, the company may start asking for very personal information.

In some cases, scammers are looking to steal your identity. One consumer reported they asked to verify his identity using the Internal Revenue Service website, IRS.gov. Subsequently, they fraudulently filed a tax return in their name. (How to avoid tax ID theft).

Whatever the scheme, scammers want people to think they are a reputable third-party company that deals in recovering social media accounts. Ultimately, consumers find they’ve been handed empty promises in exchange for their hard-earned money.

Read the complete alert for examples of this scam

How to avoid similar scams: 

  • Never pay someone to recover your social media account. Every social media site has its account recovery process. Some are more complex than others, but account recovery is always free. Recovering your social account is different than a service you should pay for. See BBB’s tips to restore your account.
  • Visit the official social media help page. Instead of researching third-party sites, go straight to the source. Follow the official account recovery process and contact the platform directly if you have any issues. You can find a list of each social media platform’s account recovery links at FTC.gov.
  • Read the full article for more tips

For more information

If you think someone has hacked your social media account, read What to do if your business’s account gets hacked. Many of the tips can apply to personal accounts as well.

Stay alert to similar scams by visiting the BBB Social media scams page. If you spot a social media scam, report it to BBB.org/ScamTracker.