Alarming Facebook Account Security Failures

Facebook account security failures are now beyond control and inexcusable.

This is my experience – so far, twice in 2023 (as a paying customer!) :

Facebook’s Alarming Failures in Account Protection: A User’s Nightmare

In today’s digital age, online security is paramount, and users have every right to expect that their personal information and data will be safeguarded. Yet, my recent experience with Facebook’s account protection and recovery process reveals a deeply concerning pattern of failure. Despite having all the recommended security features activated on my account, including a Meta verification subscription, I found myself powerless against hackers who infiltrated my account in less than 90 seconds, leaving me locked out and frustrated.

The Breach That Shouldn’t Have Happened

As someone who took every available precaution, including linking my phone number and enabling two-factor authentication with Google Authenticator, I never anticipated a security breach of this magnitude. However, the shocking reality was that an intruder swiftly gained access to my Facebook account, removing my email, phone number, and even changing my password, all while two-factor authentication was in place.

The ordeal didn’t stop there. I was not only locked out of my personal account but also denied access to essential tools like Messenger and Business Suite, which I rely on for my online presence and communication.

The Nightmare Escalates

To make matters worse, the hacker managed to infiltrate my Business Suite, adding their own name and email address as the account owner: “Yamite Kudasai (mafdsjody@hotmail.com).” This violation prompted immediate action on my part. I contacted PayPal and asked them to terminate all billing agreements with Facebook, which they did promptly, although one agreement remained live, putting my finances at risk.

To my shock, the hacker managed to process a debit of £300 from my bank account via PayPal to Meta. This raised not only concerns about my security but also questions about how a verified and paying user could be left vulnerable to such an attack.

Facebook’s Deafening Silence

Amidst this turmoil, I desperately sought assistance from Facebook. However, I found myself in a frustrating and maddening situation. When you’re locked out of your account, it appears that Facebook becomes entirely uncontactable. No customer support, no help, and no way to reach out for assistance.

Despite receiving a payment receipt from PayPal for the unauthorized debit, which included an email and phone number for Facebook, my attempts to contact them proved futile. The provided phone number was invalid, and my numerous emails to the email address on the receipt went unanswered.

PayPal’s Compassion and Resolution

In my desperate pursuit of justice and accountability, PayPal emerged as a beacon of support. They raised a dispute with Meta (formerly Facebook) on my behalf and sympathized greatly with users in situations like mine, where Facebook’s negligence left us hanging, waiting for a response while our money was being taken.

PayPal ultimately refunded the £300, even though it wasn’t their responsibility to do so. They boldly rejected the payment request from Facebook/Meta, highlighting the apparent breach of PayPal’s supplier terms and conditions. How can a supplier provide a false phone number/contact details under PayPal’s T&C of use? Well, it’s been reported and must not be permitted. If it were ME doing that, I am sure I would have my ‘automatic billing’ privileges removed or my seller account closed.

The Appalling Reality

Now, 36 hours after this harrowing experience began, I still haven’t heard a word from Facebook. This entire ordeal has left me appalled and disillusioned. For all their rules and community standards, it’s painfully clear that Facebook fails to protect its users adequately. They drag their feet when it comes to responding and refunding the lack of security and care for their PAYING customers.

In conclusion, my journey through this Facebook account security nightmare highlights a distressing trend of neglect and apathy towards the security and well-being of their users. It’s a stark reminder that even with the most robust security measures in place, the vulnerability of our online presence remains ever-present when the platforms themselves fall short of their responsibilities. It’s time for Facebook to step up, take accountability, and prioritize the protection of its users above all else.

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Anna Roffey Lawyer, World Traveller, Blogger... 🧡