Don’t Fall for the Viral “Account Deactivation” Facebook Scam

With billions of users, Facebook is a magnet for cybercriminals looking to exploit innocent people. One common scam tactic is sending phishing messages about impending account deactivation due to policy violations. If you receive this message, here’s what you need to know to avoid being tricked into compromising your account.

Account Deactivation Facebook Scam


Account Deactivation Facebook Scam 2

Overview of The “Account Deactivation” Facebook Scam

The “Account Deactivation” phishing scam typically starts with targets receiving an unsolicited Facebook message stating their account is about to be deactivated. The message claims various policy violations have been reported and the only way to avoid deactivation is verifying your identity via an external link.

However, in reality there are no legitimate violations or risk of deactivation. This is a completely fabricated alert designed to trick unsuspecting Facebook users into handing over their login credentials.

Once you click the link and input your username and password on the fake login page, malicious actors immediately gain full access to hijack your real Facebook profile. From there, they can exploit it to:

  • Impersonate you and message contacts
  • Post dangerous misinformation or spam
  • Access personal data and photos
  • Take over your Facebook Groups or Pages
  • Spread viral scams to your network
  • Delete your profile entirely

Essentially, falling for this scam hands over complete control of your digital identity. It enables serious identity theft, privacy breaches, spreading of malware, and financial fraud through compromised connected accounts.

Who is Behind the Scam?

This scam is perpetrated by individual cybercriminals and organized hacking groups who mass message potential targets using harvested inboxes and contact data.

Their aim is to cast as wide a net as possible, knowing even a 1% success rate can provide thousands of hijacked accounts. These become tools to build out botnets, steal info, distribute malware, and execute additional phishing campaigns.

The online underground marketplace also allows them to sell hacked accounts to the highest bidder, adding another lucrative revenue stream.

Examples of Typical Phishing Messages

  • “Our system detected multiple violations on your account. Confirm your identity via our verification link within 24 hours or your account will be deactivated.”
  • “Several users have reported inappropriate content posted from your account. Verify yourself immediately through the provided link to avoid permanent deletion.”
  • “You have repeatedly violated our community standards. You must validate your account ownership or your profile will be removed tonight.”

Who Does This Scam Target?

This scam predominantly targets two groups:

1. Administrators of Popular Facebook Pages

The scammers are hoping to hijack pages with large followings so they can use the brand and reach to run additional scams. A page with an established audience is very valuable to them.

2. Everyday Facebook Users

While not the primary target, regular Facebook users could also receive these scam messages. The scammers likely mass message users hoping some will fall for it. They will take over any account they can compromise.

How Does The “Account Deactivation” Facebook Scam Work?

While specifics may vary slightly, here is the general sequence of events used to carry out this phishing scam:

1. You Receive a Message About Account Deactivation

Out of the blue, you receive an unsolicited message in your Facebook inbox stating there have been violations reported on your account. It claims these violations require you to verify your identity to avoid deactivation.

Of course in reality, there have been no actual violations and your account is not facing removal. This is complete fabrication to panic you into clicking their phishing link.

2. The Message Includes a Link to Verify Your Account

A key identifier is that the message includes an external link you must click to confirm your identity and avoid deactivation.

The link may seem legitimate, but actually directs to a fake Facebook login page on a different domain. Common examples include:


3. You Click The Link and Land on a Fake Login Page

When you click the provided link, it takes you to a page imitating Facebook’s login screen. However, the URL clearly shows it is not actually Facebook.

You’ll be prompted to enter your username and password within a short timeframe to avoid the stated deactivation. But in reality, this just captures your credentials.

4. Scammers Use Your Login Info to Access Your Account

Once you input your credentials, the scammers immediately use them to access and takeover your actual Facebook account. They can now impersonate you, post content, message friends, view private data and even delete your profile.

They may also change your password to lock you out, remove trusted devices so only they retain access, or attach the account to a new email under their control.

5. Scammers Leverage Your Account for Further Attacks

With control of your profile, scammers can leverage it to execute additional scams and attacks, thanks to your perceived credibility as the actual account holder.

They may scam your friends list by impersonating you asking for money or info. Or use your account to spread fake news, compromised links, harvest user data via polls/quizzes or take over management of your Pages.

Your account provides immense power for the scammers to harm you, steal your info, and target your network of connections.

6. You Lose Access With No Way to Recover It

Meanwhile, you are completely shut out and unable to access your account. With your password changed and devices revoked, you have no way to retake control or delete the fraudulent posts and messages.

Until Facebook Support intervenes, you are essentially helpless while scammers do untold damage impersonating you and accessing your private data. This makes falling for the scam extremely risky.

Here is a detailed, SEO optimized section with examples on how to spot the “Account Deactivation” Facebook scam:

How to Identify The “Account Deactivation” Scam on Facebook

It takes vigilance to recognize phishing attempts on the world’s largest social network. When it comes to the prevalent “Account Deactivation” scam, there are distinct indicators to watch for that reveal it as a deception aimed at stealing your login credentials.

Sender Profile Appears Suspicious

Take a close look at where the message is coming from. These scam warnings usually come from random accounts not known to you personally with generic names.

For example, the sender may be named something vague like “Facebook Support” or use a series of numbers in their profile name. Legitimate notifications only come directly from Facebook’s official verified channels.

Links Go to Outside Websites

A major red flag is if the message contains any external link you must click to avoid deactivation. Scammers use misleading URLs that appear to be Facebook domains on first glance.

However, hovering over or clicking the link shows it actually goes to a different website entirely. Examples include “” or “” which are not real Facebook sites.

Aggressive Threats and False Urgency

Watch for urgent threats of immediate permanent deactivation if you don’t act quickly. Phrases like “Confirm identity in 24 hours” or “Last chance to verify before removal” aim to startle you into reacting hastily without thinking.

Facebook’s real notifications about policy violations have an informative tone – not aggressive threats or unrealistic ultimatums.

Strange Grammar, Spelling Errors

Low-quality phishing messages often contain awkward grammar, misspellings and typos. If a deactivation warning looks poorly written, it likely did not come from Facebook’s professional team.

Facebook’s legitimate alerts are meticulously translated and edited with proper language conventions.

Requests Login Credentials

Any message asking you to provide your Facebook password or login details is a huge red flag. Facebook will never direct you to input security credentials on random third-party websites to “verify” your identity.

This immediate request for sensitive information signals a phishing attempt to steal your account access. Stay vigilant for these signs to protect yourself from scams on the world’s most used social platform. Scrutinizing every message thoroughly is key.

What to do if You Get Scammed

If you submitted your login info through the phishing link, take these steps immediately to regain access:

Step 1: Report the Compromised Account to Facebook

Contact Facebook Support and explain your account was hacked through a phishing message. Provide details of any concerning posts or messages. Reporting unauthorized access prompts Facebook to investigate and helps regain access.

Step 2: Try Resetting Your Password

Attempt resetting your password directly through Scammers sometimes don’t change it immediately, allowing a reset.

If successful, create a new complex password to revoke the scammer’s access. Enable two-factor authentication for added security.

Step 3: Remove Suspicious Posts, Friends and Admins

If you regain entry, check for any unknown admins added to Pages you manage, and delete dubious posts/messages to limit damage. Unfriend suspicious new connections.

Step 4: Secure Connected Accounts

If your Facebook was linked to other apps/sites, change your passwords there as well. Prioritize sites containing financial data or personal info. Enable two-factor authentication where possible.

Step 5: Watch for Suspicious Login Activity

Routinely check Settings > Security > Login Activity and review devices accessing your account. Remove any unknown or suspicious sessions.

Step 6: Warn Connections About the Scam

Once your account is restored, alert your friends list about the “account deactivation” phishing scam. Explain the threat so they can protect themselves from becoming victims too.

Is Your Device Infected? Check for Malware

If your device is running slowly or acting suspicious, it may be infected with malware. Malwarebytes Anti-Malware Free is a great option for scanning your device and detecting potential malware or viruses. The free version can efficiently check for and remove many common infections.  

Malwarebytes can run on Windows, Mac, and Android devices. Depending on which operating system is installed on the device you’re trying to run a Malwarebytes scan, please click on the tab below and follow the displayed steps.

Malwarebytes For WindowsMalwarebytes For MacMalwarebytes For Android

Scan your computer with Malwarebytes for Windows to remove malware

Malwarebytes stands out as one of the leading and widely-used anti-malware solutions for Windows, and for good reason. It effectively eradicates various types of malware that other programs often overlook, all at no cost to you. When it comes to disinfecting an infected device, Malwarebytes has consistently been a free and indispensable tool in the battle against malware. We highly recommend it for maintaining a clean and secure system.

  1. Download Malwarebytes for Windows

    You can download Malwarebytes by clicking the link below.

    (The above link will open a new page from where you can download Malwarebytes)

    Install Malwarebytes

    After the download is complete, locate the MBSetup file, typically found in your Downloads folder. Double-click on the MBSetup file to begin the installation of Malwarebytes on your computer. If a User Account Control pop-up appears, click “Yes” to continue the Malwarebytes installation.

  3. Follow the On-Screen Prompts to Install Malwarebytes

    When the Malwarebytes installation begins, the setup wizard will guide you through the process.

    • You’ll first be prompted to choose the type of computer you’re installing the program on—select either “Personal Computer” or “Work Computer” as appropriate, then click on Next.

      MBAM3 1
    • Malwarebytes will now begin the installation process on your device.

    • When the Malwarebytes installation is complete, the program will automatically open to the “Welcome to Malwarebytes” screen.

      MBAM6 1
    • On the final screen, simply click on the Open Malwarebytes option to start the program.

      MBAM5 1
  4. Enable “Rootkit scanning”.

    Malwarebytes Anti-Malware will now start, and you will see the main screen as shown below. To maximize Malwarebytes’ ability to detect malware and unwanted programs, we need to enable rootkit scanning. Click on the “Settings” gear icon located on the left of the screen to access the general settings section.


    In the settings menu, enable the “Scan for rootkits” option by clicking the toggle switch until it turns blue.


    Now that you have enabled rootkit scanning, click on the “Dashboard” button in the left pane to get back to the main screen.

  5. Perform a Scan with Malwarebytes.

    To start a scan, click the Scan button. Malwarebytes will automatically update its antivirus database and begin scanning your computer for malicious programs.

  6. Wait for the Malwarebytes scan to complete.

    Malwarebytes will now scan your computer for browser hijackers and other malicious programs. This process can take a few minutes, so we suggest you do something else and periodically check the status of the scan to see when it is finished.

  7. Quarantine detected malware

    Once the Malwarebytes scan is complete, it will display a list of detected malware, adware, and potentially unwanted programs. To effectively remove these threats, click the “Quarantine” button.


    Malwarebytes will now delete all of the files and registry keys and add them to the program’s quarantine.


  8. Restart your computer.

    When removing files, Malwarebytes may require a reboot to fully eliminate some threats. If you see a message indicating that a reboot is needed, please allow it. Once your computer has restarted and you are logged back in, you can continue with the remaining steps.


Your computer should now be free of trojans, adware, browser hijackers, and other malware.

If your current antivirus allowed this malicious program on your computer, you may want to consider purchasing Malwarebytes Premium to protect against these types of threats in the future.
If you are still having problems with your computer after completing these instructions, then please follow one of the steps:

Scan your computer with Malwarebytes for Mac to remove malware

Malwarebytes for Mac is an on-demand scanner that can destroy many types of malware that other software tends to miss without costing you absolutely anything. When it comes to cleaning up an infected device, Malwarebytes has always been free, and we recommend it as an essential tool in the fight against malware.

  1. Download Malwarebytes for Mac.

    You can download Malwarebytes for Mac by clicking the link below.

    (The above link will open a new page from where you can download Malwarebytes for Mac)
  2. Double-click on the Malwarebytes setup file.

    When Malwarebytes has finished downloading, double-click on the setup file to install Malwarebytes on your computer. In most cases, downloaded files are saved to the Downloads folder.

    Double-click on setup file to install Malwarebytes

  3. Follow the on-screen prompts to install Malwarebytes.

    When the Malwarebytes installation begins, you will see the Malwarebytes for Mac Installer which will guide you through the installation process. Click “Continue“, then keep following the prompts to continue with the installation process.

    Click Continue to install Malwarebytes for Mac

    Click again on Continue to install Malwarebytes for Mac for Mac

    Click Install to install Malwarebytes on Mac

    When your Malwarebytes installation completes, the program opens to the Welcome to Malwarebytes screen. Click the “Get started” button.

  4. Select “Personal Computer” or “Work Computer”.

    The Malwarebytes Welcome screen will first ask you what type of computer are you installing this program, click either Personal Computer or Work Computer.
    Select Personal Computer or Work Computer mac

  5. Click on “Scan”.

    To scan your computer with Malwarebytes, click on the “Scan” button. Malwarebytes for Mac will automatically update the antivirus database and start scanning your computer for malware.
    Click on Scan button to start a system scan Mac

  6. Wait for the Malwarebytes scan to complete.

    Malwarebytes will scan your computer for adware, browser hijackers, and other malicious programs. This process can take a few minutes, so we suggest you do something else and periodically check on the status of the scan to see when it is finished.
    Wait for Malwarebytes for Mac to scan for malware

  7. Click on “Quarantine”.

    When the scan has been completed, you will be presented with a screen showing the malware infections that Malwarebytes has detected. To remove the malware that Malwarebytes has found, click on the “Quarantine” button.
    Review the malicious programs and click on Quarantine to remove malware

  8. Restart computer.

    Malwarebytes will now remove all the malicious files that it has found. To complete the malware removal process, Malwarebytes may ask you to restart your computer.
    Malwarebytes For Mac requesting to restart computer

Your Mac should now be free of adware, browser hijackers, and other malware.

If your current antivirus allowed a malicious program on your computer, you might want to consider purchasing the full-featured version of Malwarebytes Anti-Malware to protect against these types of threats in the future.
If you are still experiencing problems while trying to remove a malicious program from your computer, please ask for help in our Mac Malware Removal Help & Support forum.

Scan your phone with Malwarebytes for Android to remove malware

Malwarebytes for Android automatically detects and removes dangerous threats like malware and ransomware so you don’t have to worry about your most-used device being compromised. Aggressive detection of adware and potentially unwanted programs keeps your Android phone or tablet running smooth.

  1. Download Malwarebytes for Android.

    You can download Malwarebytes for Android by clicking the link below.

    (The above link will open a new page from where you can download Malwarebytes for Android)
  2. Install Malwarebytes for Android on your phone.

    In the Google Play Store, tap “Install” to install Malwarebytes for Android on your device.

    Tap Install to install Malwarebytes for Android

    When the installation process has finished, tap “Open” to begin using Malwarebytes for Android. You can also open Malwarebytes by tapping on its icon in your phone menu or home screen.
    Malwarebytes for Android - Open App

  3. Follow the on-screen prompts to complete the setup process

    When Malwarebytes will open, you will see the Malwarebytes Setup Wizard which will guide you through a series of permissions and other setup options.
    This is the first of two screens that explain the difference between the Premium and Free versions. Swipe this screen to continue.
    Malwarebytes Setup Screen 1
    Tap on “Got it” to proceed to the next step.
    Malwarebytes Setup Screen 2
    Malwarebytes for Android will now ask for a set of permissions that are required to scan your device and protect it from malware. Tap on “Give permission” to continue.
    Malwarebytes Setup Screen 3
    Tap on “Allow” to permit Malwarebytes to access the files on your phone.
    Malwarebytes Setup Screen 4

  4. Update database and run a scan with Malwarebytes for Android

    You will now be prompted to update the Malwarebytes database and run a full system scan.

    Malwarebytes fix issue

    Click on “Update database” to update the Malwarebytes for Android definitions to the latest version, then click on “Run full scan” to perform a system scan.

    Update database and run Malwarebytes scan on phone

  5. Wait for the Malwarebytes scan to complete.

    Malwarebytes will now start scanning your phone for adware and other malicious apps. This process can take a few minutes, so we suggest you do something else and periodically check on the status of the scan to see when it is finished.
    Malwarebytes scanning Android for Vmalware

  6. Click on “Remove Selected”.

    When the scan has been completed, you will be presented with a screen showing the malware infections that Malwarebytes for Android has detected. To remove the malicious apps that Malwarebytes has found, tap on the “Remove Selected” button.
    Remove malware from your phone

  7. Restart your phone.

    Malwarebytes for Android will now remove all the malicious apps that it has found. To complete the malware removal process, Malwarebytes may ask you to restart your device.

Your phone should now be free of adware, browser hijackers, and other malware.

If your current antivirus allowed a malicious app on your phone, you may want to consider purchasing the full-featured version of Malwarebytes to protect against these types of threats in the future.
If you are still having problems with your phone after completing these instructions, then please follow one of the steps:

Frequently Asked Questions About The “Account Deactivation” Facebook Scam

This frequent phishing tactic fools many Facebook users. Here are detailed answers to common questions about how it works and how to stay secure:

What exactly is the “Account Deactivation” Facebook scam?

This scam sends a phishing message claiming your account faces imminent permanent deactivation due to policy violations. It includes an urgent call to action to “verify your identity” by entering your Facebook login credentials on an external website. In reality, it’s a deception aimed at stealing your account access.

Why does this scam message claim my account is being deactivated?

By citing violations and deactivation, the scam message creates a sense of fear that your access is about to be lost forever. This panic causes some users to click the phishing link recklessly in hopes of saving their account without considering it may be a scam.

Who sends these “Deactivation” scam messages?

Individual cybercriminals and hacking groups distribute these en masse by the thousands. They obtain target inboxes through data leaks, malware attacks, bot networks, and purchases on the dark web. Even a low success rate still gives them a trove of hijacked accounts.

How do scammers benefit from taking over my Facebook account?

Your account provides immense power through your identity, personal data, connected apps, Pages you manage, and network of trusting friends ripe for targeting. Scammers can impersonate you, spread malware, scam your connections, access financial accounts, steal info and more once in your profile.

What are some clear signals this is a phishing scam?

Dead giveaways include suspicious links, threats of immediate deactivation, poor grammar/spelling, requests for login credentials, unfamiliar sender profiles, and scam pages mimicking Facebook’s design with different URLs.

What should I do if I entered my password through the scam link?

If you were tricked into providing your login info, take immediate steps like changing your Facebook password, removing suspicious posts or friends, and contacting Facebook to report unauthorized access and regain control of your account. Also secure any other accounts linked to the compromised Facebook.

How can I better avoid this scam moving forward?

Carefully scrutinize messages, avoid unverified links, use strong unique passwords, enable two-factor authentication, check sender profiles, watch for poor grammar/spelling, and never provide your login credentials through third-party websites.

Can I block or report these fake deactivation messages?

Definitely report any phishing attempts to Facebook as spam/fraud. You can also adjust your account privacy settings to filter messages to friends only. Turn on login approvals as another barrier to account takeover.

Does Facebook really deactivate accounts without warning?

No, Facebook sends advance warnings well before applying temporary restrictions or disabling accounts. The threats of immediate permanent deactivation with no chance to appeal are a manipulation tactic used in this scam.

Staying informed is key to avoiding this frequent phishing scam. Recognizing the warning signs protects you and your sensitive account access credentials.

The Bottom Line

The supposed imminent account deactivation notice is a common phishing ploy to trick you into compromising your own login details out of fear. But armed with knowledge of this scam, you can ensure you never become a victim.

Scrutinize the claims of any messages about account violations, check sender profiles, avoid external links, and never provide your password outside of Keeping your credentials secured eliminates the scammer’s power.

With proper precautions, you can confidently ignore these fake warnings about impending deactivation. Staying informed is the key to locking down your account and protecting your online presence.

How to Stay Safe Online

Here are 10 basic security tips to help you avoid malware and protect your device:

  1. Use a good antivirus and keep it up-to-date.

    Shield Guide

    It's essential to use a good quality antivirus and keep it up-to-date to stay ahead of the latest cyber threats. We are huge fans of Malwarebytes Premium and use it on all of our devices, including Windows and Mac computers as well as our mobile devices. Malwarebytes sits beside your traditional antivirus, filling in any gaps in its defenses, and providing extra protection against sneakier security threats.

  2. Keep software and operating systems up-to-date.


    Keep your operating system and apps up to date. Whenever an update is released for your device, download and install it right away. These updates often include security fixes, vulnerability patches, and other necessary maintenance.

  3. Be careful when installing programs and apps.

    install guide

    Pay close attention to installation screens and license agreements when installing software. Custom or advanced installation options will often disclose any third-party software that is also being installed. Take great care in every stage of the process and make sure you know what it is you're agreeing to before you click "Next."

  4. Install an ad blocker.

    Ad Blocker

    Use a browser-based content blocker, like AdGuard. Content blockers help stop malicious ads, Trojans, phishing, and other undesirable content that an antivirus product alone may not stop.

  5. Be careful what you download.

    Trojan Horse

    A top goal of cybercriminals is to trick you into downloading malware—programs or apps that carry malware or try to steal information. This malware can be disguised as an app: anything from a popular game to something that checks traffic or the weather.

  6. Be alert for people trying to trick you.

    warning sign

    Whether it's your email, phone, messenger, or other applications, always be alert and on guard for someone trying to trick you into clicking on links or replying to messages. Remember that it's easy to spoof phone numbers, so a familiar name or number doesn't make messages more trustworthy.

  7. Back up your data.

    backup sign

    Back up your data frequently and check that your backup data can be restored. You can do this manually on an external HDD/USB stick, or automatically using backup software. This is also the best way to counter ransomware. Never connect the backup drive to a computer if you suspect that the computer is infected with malware.

  8. Choose strong passwords.

    lock sign

    Use strong and unique passwords for each of your accounts. Avoid using personal information or easily guessable words in your passwords. Enable two-factor authentication (2FA) on your accounts whenever possible.

  9. Be careful where you click.

    cursor sign

    Be cautious when clicking on links or downloading attachments from unknown sources. These could potentially contain malware or phishing scams.

  10. Don't use pirated software.

    Shady Guide

    Avoid using Peer-to-Peer (P2P) file-sharing programs, keygens, cracks, and other pirated software that can often compromise your data, privacy, or both.

To avoid potential dangers on the internet, it's important to follow these 10 basic safety rules. By doing so, you can protect yourself from many of the unpleasant surprises that can arise when using the web.

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