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Phishing Scams Targeting Optometrists with Facebook and Instagram Accounts

by | May 28, 2024

Some optometrists in private practice have worked for years to build a great presence on Facebook business, Instagram, and other social media platforms. They build an audience of followers on these accounts, and maybe even pay to advertise services or their optical to increase awareness, connect with people in the community, and ultimately grow their practices.

The team at Optometry Marketing Services who work with optometry practice owners and staff on their social media receive email from time to time from a worried owner or manager who’s received an email or message which appears to be from Facebook which threatens permanent page deletion unless some immediate action is taken.

 Here’s an example:

  • Your Facebook page is scheduled for permanent deletion due to infringed upon our trademark rights. We have reached this decision after a thorough review and in accordance with our intellectual property protection policies.

The email or message claims that your Facebook business page is scheduled for deletion due to trademark infringement or other violations. The email or message may include a link to file a complaint or appeal the deletion, and that link usually leads to a site that may infect your computer or device with malware.

Phishing scams targeting businesses using social media platforms like Facebook and Instagram are on the rise. Here’s what you need to know about these threats.

Understanding phishing scams

Phishing scams involve deceptive messages that appear to come from trusted sources. Scammers impersonate Meta’s support team, sending urgent warnings about account issues that require immediate action. These messages often include links to fake login pages designed to steal your login credentials​ (MalwareTips Forums)​​ (Small Business Trends)​.

Common tactics used by scammers

Scammers set up realistic-looking login pages with the goal of capturing your username and password to your Facebook account. To get you to login, they’ll send you an email or message which claims you’re in violation of a policy or offer you a promotional deal. They often impersonate Meta support to drive a sense of urgency.


Phishing scams can lead to losing access to your social media accounts. Additionally, compromised accounts can be used to spread misinformation or solicit money from your followers, damaging your practice’s credibility​ (Small Business Trends)​.

How to recognize a phishing scam

While it can be frightening to receive an email or message informing you that you are in danger of losing your Facebook or Instagram business account, don’t click the link in the email or message! Pause and carefully look at the communication for these telltale signs that it’s a scam.

Spelling and grammatical errors

Phishing scams don’t always contain spelling and grammatical errors, but sometimes they do. Go back and read the example – do you see the grammatical error?

If you receive an email or message threatening you with the deletion of your Facebook account unless you click on a link of some kind and it contains spelling and grammatical errors, it’s probably a phishing scam. Delete it or report it to Facebook.

Unsolicited urgent requests

Be wary of messages which come out of nowhere demanding you take immediate action, or your page will be deleted, or conversely, promise to provide you with some sort of incentive if you take immediate action.

Suspicious email addresses and links

Check the email address of the sender and the link URL you’re being asked to click on.

  • If the email address of the sender is outlook.com, hotmail.com, gmail.com, or some other domain which isn’t owned by Meta, it’s a scammer. Here is the list of email addresses and domains Meta uses in communication.
  • You can “hover” over the URL without clicking on it to see the site address. The link URL may have misspellings, long, unrecognizable domains, or hyphens and symbols. Don’t click that link! They want you to click on the link so they can steal your login credentials and hijack your accounts.

Prevention strategies

Use complex passwords and enable 2 factor authentication to your accounts to add an extra layer of security. Make sure that anyone who works for you and has a role on your business accounts understands that if they receive an email or message which threatens page deletion to NOT click on the link in the email; but instead, let you know about it.


Some private practice owners have worked hard to build an audience of followers and use social media to connect with people in the community and grow their practices, so it can be unsettling to receive a suspicious email or message out of nowhere threatening permanent page deletion.

Don’t panic – it is most likely a scam!

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