Facebook fails to remove painfully obvious scam page

Posted on September 17, 2021

 

If you see something inappropriate on Facebook, the only way to get it removed is to report it and wait for Facebook to zap it. Over the last week and a bit though, the continuing antics of a page we’ve had our eyes on are a reminder that Facebook taking action is far from a given.

On September 7th, a Facebook page called “Morrisons Supermarket” was created and put out a seemingly charitable post offering everybody who shared and commented on the post a free food box delivered the following day.

As the above screenshot shows, within four hours of the post going live, 17,000 people had shared it and over 7,000 had commented, most of them expressing glee and gratitude at what they believed to be a kind offer from one of Britain’s leading supermarkets.

Hang on though, there are one or two “red flags” with this page, aren’t there? To name just a few:

– The page was created that day. That’s a bit odd, isn’t it? Would Morrisons not already have a Facebook page before September 2021? Of course they do – it’s here
– This new page has no blue tick next to the name to verify its authenticity – note that the genuine Morrisons page does have one
– Poor grammar and punctuation. Why is “Every” capitalised, and why the inconsistency in capitalising “Food Box”? A brand like Morrisons would be more careful than this
– The offer is ludicrous and would cost the supermarket a fortune. Tens of thousands of food boxes delivered to people’s doors the next day, just for a couple of Facebook favours? Yeah, right!

The stunt (and the thousands of people falling for it) certainly riled our Technical Director, Darren, who went into one of his customary rants on Facebook Live.

People really should know better than to interact with this sort of nonsense, but sadly it seems that droves of people have unwittingly fallen for a data harvesting trap, and not a particularly well executed one at that. What you would expect, however, is for Facebook to be quick to get a grip of this sort of underhand practice, and it’s quite shocking that as of this morning, this page is still active.

Indeed, on Wednesday, it was posting this same “offer” again. More Facebook users were walking into it, while others were complaining that, surprise surprise, they never got their food box last week as promised. By yesterday, for reasons you don’t have to be a genius to work out, the page had disabled comments on its posts. As of this morning, the posts have disappeared altogether, but the page is still there.

I personally have reported this page to Facebook twice, and I can’t be the only one who has. What exactly is Facebook delaying for? In the very process of letting Facebook know this was a spoof page, Facebook asked me which page it was pretending to be, and automatically suggested Morrisons as an option, so even its algorithms are able to put two and two together and work out that something fishy is going on. Pages like this should really never see the light of day, let alone remain active for over a week while continuing to scam people with what are real beginner level hoaxes.

I hope Morrisons takes legal action over this incident – not just against the scammers themselves but Facebook too, as this is nowhere near good enough from such a large and influential social media platform. It’s little wonder that we hear from so many people who take matters into their own hands after being harassed by fake Facebook pages, as the company itself seems disengaged from the matter.

At Engage Web, we have an eBook on how to trace a face Facebook account, and we can also help you create website and social media content with more integrity and authenticity than is displayed by these chancers!

Content Team Leader at Engage Web
John works for Engage Web as a Content Team Leader and regularly contributes to the website and programmes of his beloved Chester F.C.
John Murray
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