Debunking hoaxes and exposing scams since 2003!

Hoax-Slayer Logo

PHISHING - 'Your Account is Temporarily Locked' Facebook Email


Outline

Email purporting to be from Facebook, claims that your account has been temporarily locked and you must therefore click a link to complete a security check and restore account access.

Account temporarily locked
© Depositphotos.com/ 2nix

Brief Analysis

The email is not from Facebook. It is a scam designed to trick you into giving your Facebook account login details and other personal information to cybercriminals. The link opens a bogus Facebook login page. This fake email should not be confused with legitimate Facebook notifications which may pop up an 'account locked' message on your screen when you attempt to login (See detailed analysis below for more information).

Example

Subject: Your account is temporarily locked
Your account is temporarily locked
We’re working hard to make sure that everyone on Facebook uses their real identity.
In order to regain access to your account, click here and complete the security check.

Account temporarily locked


Detailed Analysis

'Facebook' Email Claims Your Account is Temporarily Locked

According to this email, which appears to be an official Facebook notification, your account has been temporarily locked.

The email explains that Facebook is trying to ensure that everyone on Facebook is using their real identity and the company therefore needs you to click a link to complete a security check. Supposedly, when you complete the security check, you will regain access to your account.

The email features the familiar blue and white Facebook colour scheme and logo.

Email is Not From Facebook - Phishing Scam

However, the email is not from Facebook and your account has not been locked as claimed.

In fact, the email is a phishing scam designed to steal your Facebook login details.

If you click the link in the fake message, you will be taken to a fraudulent website designed to emulate a genuine Facebook login page. If you enter your login details on the fake page, you may then be taken to a second page that asks for personal and financial information. The page will claim that Facebook needs this information to confirm your identity.

A final page may then inform you that the security check is complete and account access has been restored.

But, alas, the criminals behind this phishing campaign can collect all of the information you have submitted and use it to hijack your Facebook account, conduct fraudulent transactions in your name, and possibly even steal your identity.

Don't Confuse This Scam With Legitimate Facebook 'Account Locked' Popup

While this email is a scam, it should be noted that Facebook may display an 'account temporarily locked' message if the company needs you to verify your identity or if its security systems suspect that your computer has a malware infection.

However, these legitimate Facebook 'account locked' messages will popup on your screen when you try to login to your account.

Be wary of any email that claims that there is an issue with your Facebook account and you must click a link or open an attached file to resolve the issue.

To check, just login to your Facebook account as you normally would. If the warning is genuine, you will receive a legitimate Facebook notification when you attempt to login.



Account temporarily locked

© Depositphotos.com/ julos


Last updated: November 10, 2014
First published: November 10, 2014
By Brett M. Christensen
About Hoax-Slayer

References
Phishing Scams - Anti-Phishing Information
Facebook Help - Account temporaily locked for security reasons?
Facebook Account Locked Due to Malware Warning