F.B. Purity is a one-of-a-kind browser extension that can modify Facebook to make it more of what you want. Don’t want to see sponsored posts? Like to hide posts with selfies? F. B. Purity has got you.
Free to install, F. B. Purity is an extension that lodges into your browser on any Windows, Apple or Linux computer (sorry, nothing for mobile devices yet). Once installed, F. B. Purity is fairly subtle and you’ll only see this addition at the top of your feed:
But therein lay all your options. If you click on “F.B. Purity” in that small caption, all of its options open up for you to explore and use. Frankly, the options can be a little overwhelming, but for those willing, you can go through and Hide all kinds of Facebook nonsense, like:
Questions & Polls
And there are extra features you may want to activate. For example, if you turn on “Deleted Friend Alerts,” F. B. Purity will let you know when someone has unfriended you.
After checking off all your desired options, make sure to click the small Save and Close button!
You may trust in the following and take part in the proceedings, to get your piece of the settlement:
Facebook is accused of collecting user data through outside websites, and selling it to advertisers. They allegedly did this through those Facebook Like buttons that used to appear all over the web. In doing so, Facebook may have violated privacy laws and unjustly profited from all of us.
Facebook is admitting no guilt in the matter, but they are settling. In order to put this matter to bed, they are agreeing to a $90 Million settlement. It’s somewhat of a speeding ticket to a company worth $538 Billion, but so it goes…
How to Participate
You can get your share of that settlement, as long as you qualify. Consider yourself qualified if you:
Had a Facebook account between 4/22/2010 and 9/26/2011
Visited non-Facebook websites that displayed the Facebook Like button.
Don’t remember if that was the case? Those Like buttons were everywhere back then, so it is very likely you encountered them, while reading the news or checking out personal blogs or shopping online.
I notice that the Online Claim page may not load in the presence of an ad-blocker. I guess they are tracking who visits that page! If you can’t get it to load, try disabling your ad-blocker. Or, you can right-click the link and open the page in Incognito/InPrivate mode. That should bypass any adblocker woes.
And after all of that reading & signing up & waiting… you might get a dollar or two. Sorry, but the lawyers are going to take a big bite out of that $90M before it trickles down to us. There are 240 million Facebook users in the USA. It all comes down to how many people hear about this and sign up, I suppose.
No, you are not going to win a free RV! But when you see posts about this on social media, they are so tempting. Companies with names like Camping & RV World boast about “unclaimed RVs” that they have to give away for free, and the included photos show some beautiful vehicles. But this is one of those too-good-to-be-true situations. You will not win anything. And there is a lot of harm afoot, even if you click Like on the post.
How To Spot the Scam?
This gets harder every year, as the scammers study Facebook and other platforms for ingenious ways to conceal their identities. But here are some clues:
When you visit a Business Page on Facebook, scroll down to find the Page Transparency section. Click “See All” to get the most details. This will tell you useful info, like the date that the Page was created, and possibly the country of origin. Scam pages often show a very recent date, while known trusted pages have older dates.
Regard the About section: Scam pages often have no info here, while legitimate pages will reveal a proper phone number, physical address and website. Do not trust any “tinyurl”, “bit.ly” or “google.sites” addresses!
Search on Facebook for the company in question. Take Camping World, for example, they show hundreds of thousands of Likes. Notice that the scammer’s page probably only has a handful of Likes.
The Hazards of This Scam
The first part of the scam is in the first interaction you have with it. If you click Like or Share the scam, Facebook will promote the scammy post to your friends & family, or to everyone else in your group. It will help it spread like wildfire, or a chain letter. And your endorsement will make the scam look more believable to everyone else!
Next, many of these scams steer you towards marketing websites that promise free money via CashApp. This nonsense will waste your time with survey after survey and form after form. You’ll never get the promised cash, but they will hoover up your information. And sell it to every spammer and telemarketer known to man. If you think you get a lot of spam and junk calls now, just you wait. Participating in these surveys will elevate your spam to nightmare levels!
Finally, these RV Giveaways will “select” you as a winner, and push you into Private Messaging or other non-public communication. And the scammer will prepare to deliver your winnings… but first, they want a delivery fee to be paid. Or some insurance. Maybe a “customs surcharge.” Whatever it is, they’ll make it seem like a trifle, compared with the value of the big thing you’ve just won. But if you pay that fee (through CashApp or wire xfer or gift cards), then you will never hear from them again, and you will not see any RV appear in your driveway.
For ten years now, people have been posting the following notice on Facebook:
Please don’t do that. Don’t post this or Share this if you see it. It is a hoax and it is misinformation. It accomplishes nothing.
I understand if you have privacy concerns over Facebook’s treatment of your information. Mr. Zuckerberg doesn’t have a great track record of protecting and respecting our user data. But this kind of post does not protect you or change how Facebook treats you.
Please read up about this on Snopes or other websites. When you first signed up for a free Facebook account, you agreed to a lengthy contract. You agreed to so many many things, including:
Specifically, when you share, post, or upload content that is covered by intellectual property rights on or in connection with our Products, you grant us a non-exclusive, transferable, sub-licensable, royalty-free, and worldwide license to host, use, distribute, modify, run, copy, publicly perform or display, translate, and create derivative works of your content (consistent with your privacy and application settings). This means, for example, that if you share a photo on Facebook, you give us permission to store, copy, and share it with others (again, consistent with your settings) such as service providers that support our service or other Meta Products you use. This license will end when your content is deleted from our systems.
If you really want control over what Facebook does with your data, your options are few and simple enough:
Don’t post it in the first place.
Delete your info, posts or pictures from Facebook.
Delete your whole Facebook account!
I understand that those may not be the most helpful options, and for that, I can only apologize and sympathize. Remember: If you’re using something for free, you are probably not the customer, you are the product!
You’ve seen these special effects on Facebook for some time now: certain words or phrases, like Congrats or You’ve Got This, do special things in posts and comments. As you type these secret texts on a computer (doesn’t often work in their mobile apps), Facebook colors them in and anyone may click on them later to see a special animation.
These “text delights” are harmless fun, and you should be able to use in most text entry fields on Facebook. The trick may be knowing what triggers the text delights in the first place.
Facebook doesn’t offer a master list of these text delights. And they vary from one country/language to the next. Plus, when Facebook retires an old text delight or introduces a new one, they don’t always announce it. We’re still discovering these easter eggs to this day!
If you want some idea of what text delights are out there, you can simply search the web for “Facebook text delights” or check out YouTube videos about what people have discovered. And when you go to use them, you will know if what you’ve typed will work as soon as you key it in. Text delights change color as soon as you type them into Facebook, to let you know there will be a special effect.
One last thing: you don’t have to use a text delight, if you don’t want to. Let’s say you type GG or xoxo, and Facebook colors it in as a delight. As soon as the color appears, hit your Backspace key one time, and the delight-coloring should disappear. Now you have plain text, with no special effect.
Facebook is rolling out a new tool for safeguarding your account. But not everyone will see this just yet. For now, they’re pushing this feature out to high-profile accounts and business pages with significant reach. You may see this pop-up for you if you are a politician, for example, or run a Business Page with thousands of Likes on it.
Unfortunately, when Facebook does reach out to someone about their new Protect feature, it presents as a scam. The sender’s email looks fishy and the message urges to you act soon, lest you be locked out.
If you get an email or notification about this, cooperate with it if you are comfortable doing so. If you aren’t 100% sure, you can still satisfy the Facebook Protect requirement without clicking on the email:
Open Facebook.com in your computer’s web browser.
Click the triangle button in the upper-right corner, click Settings & Privacy, click Settings.
On the left, click Security & Login, then to the right, look for Facebook Protect and click Get Started.
You cannot sign up for Facebook Protect before you are invited, so if you can’t do this now, no worries! There’s nothing to do until you get a notice that you should activate this.
Nextdoor is a social networking website with a focus on neighborhood connections and local resources. If your neighborhood isn’t already connecting through Facebook groups or other means, Nextdoor might be a useful option for doing so.
Now, if you’re already a Nextdoor user, we should go over their marketing tactics. They’re a little bit sus, in the parlance of the younger generation. To attract new users, Nextdoor commonly mails letters to people. On paper, through the USPS. These letters invite you to join up for free and try out Nextdoor.
But now here’s the sus part: These letters often drop names of people in your neighborhood. They mention your neighborhood by name, as well. They’re a little uncanny, and many people read these letters and smell a scam. There is no scam! But it sure looks sketchy…
We can’t stop Nextdoor from this marketing behavior. But we should be aware that Nextdoor may use your name or other PII on their marketing letters to others! Unless, you deliberately opt out, and here’s how to do that:
On a computer
Visit the Nextdoor website and sign in.
Click the account bubble to the upper-right, and then click Settings.
On the left, click Privacy.
Scroll down to the Invitation letters section, and turn off the toggle next to “Allow Nextdoor to mail letters on your behalf”.
In the Nextdoor app
Open the Nextdoor app and sign in.
To the lower-right, tap More.
Scroll down and tap Settings.
Tap Privacy Settings.
Scroll down to the Invitation letters section, and turn off the toggle next to “Allow Nextdoor to mail letters on your behalf”.
If you encounter this anywhere on Facebook, please know that it is not legitimate, and Facebook/Meta did NOT send this to you. Do not click the link. Do not respond to the message.
You can and should click the 3-dots button to the upper-right, to report the message/account to Facebook as a fake or impostor. That will help Facebook detect and remove the ruse.
True Facebook messages about your reports & violations would appear in the Support Inbox for your Facebook account. That can be a bit tricky to find, but try this link if you want to visit yours. You can trust what you read on that website.
How Bad This Scam Can Get
If someone is tricked into clicking the link, some browsers will protect the user and warn about the dangerous site ahead:
But other, less-secure browsers might load that link straight away, and then this alert appears:
This is still all fake! The user’s FB account is perfectly fine, and the above text is 100% fiction. But when a person clicks the blue button there, the next page prompts them to type in their Facebook credentials. After that, the scammers quickly capture and use that info to log into that Facebook account.
Once inside the victim’s account, they will:
Change the FB password, locking the true owner out.
Change the account recovery methods, so that the true owner cannot reset his/her password.
Start using the account to scam everyone on the Friends List of the account.
Start using the account for other criminal enterprises on Facebook and beyond.
If The Worst Has Happened To You
If you have been fooled by this phishing effort, contact Facebook for help with your account ASAP. You may certainly try to reset your password first, but if that fails, Facebook will have to put you through some considerable verification steps and other processes to fix the situation.
You’ll need this Facebook article to begin the recovery process. Click on “I think my Facebook account was hacked…” and then click the get Started button. Answer the next questions as best you can and hopefully Facebook will repair your account… soon.
You might also contact your friends and family, via email or phone, to let them know about your stolen account. Tell them something like, “Don’t trust anything coming from my FB account, until I explicitly tell you I’ve recovered it!”
Yesterday, I reported a scam from a Facebook group. And an autoreply quickly arrived, stating that their “technology” had reviewed my request and found nothing to act on. I then chose the option to Request a Second Review, because they got it wrong. That got me this disappointing response:
This suggests that they put more manpower towards moderating issues involving loss of life and limb. And they put less or no effort into preventing fraud and deception. On Facebook, you will get support if your life is threatened, but not if someone is only trying to lie, cheat and steal from you.
I especially take issue with their bulleted list at the end. This just doesn’t set well with me. If I see someone on a street corner trying to scam my neighbors, would I walk away and ignore the scammer? Go in my house and forget the crime I just saw? How does that help keep things safe for everyone?
I apologize for taking a sharp tone over this. But this shows why Facebook (and much of the rest of the internet) is so hazardous. I liken it to the Wild West. We do not have as much protection or support on the web as we do when we are walking down Main Street in Small-Town America.
When you see something wrong on Facebook, you should still report it. But you may want to go further, because Facebook does not always have your back. When the questionable post is in a Facebook Group, also report it to the admin(s) of the group. The admin is usually a local person who cares more than Facebook, and will respond in a more nuanced manner.
You could also comment on the offending material, to give public notice to others. But even the most non-confrontational comment can trigger a backlash from a hostile criminal. Always go to an admin if you need discretion in dealing with something.
Another common scam you may see on Facebook occurs mostly in Facebook Groups. If your town, county or region has a Group Page, you may see these amazing offers for duct cleaning service.
Warning Signs of a Duct Cleaning Scam
Suspect a scam if you notice:
They don’t state a concrete business name or website address.
The FB account of the poster has newly joined the group and shows little to no activity on their profile.
A vague discount is promised, with no explicit pricing, or a flat fee is offered for cleaning unlimited ducts and vents.
Their phone number turns up no Google results.
They won’t give their licensing or NADCA info on demand.
A legitimate company is going to state their contact info clearly and readily. Real businesses want to make it easy for you to contact them through various means (phone, email, website), so it should be a red flag to you if you’re not seeing that info immediately. And real duct cleaning outfits will not dodge questions about their business or NADCA licensing.
I haven’t experienced the end-game of these scams myself, but we can get some ideas of what the scammers’ goals are. Check out this Facebook Page for a scam duct cleaning outfit. Read the reviews, and you’ll see what some people are accusing them of doing. Listen to this professional detail how these scams affect his legitimate company. And consider what happens in these tawdryexposes.
Once you absorb all of that, take a step back, and let it all gel in your mind. It starts to look like Facebook is the base of operations for a crime referral network, connecting duct-cleaning scammers to victims all over the USA!
Dos and Don’ts
If you see a duct cleaning scam, don’t waste your time contacting the poster. Don’t give them any personal info, because they could share it with other scammers. And don’t let questionable people into your home! The most you can do is report the post to the admins of the FB Group as a scam. And if you’re an admin of such a FB group, you’ll want to remove the post ASAP to protect your group members. Track down and remove the scammer’s account from your group, too!
You can try to report things to Facebook, as well. But they aren’t too responsive. Since the actual crime is occurring off-Facebook, moderators don’t see anything actionable. I’ve reported countless duct cleaning scams, to no avail. It’s pretty much up to us to keep alert and look out for each other.