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RSN™ Guide: Facebook Verified?
What does this even mean?
Facebook provides various ways the profile and page owners can be verified for the confidence of Facebook visitors. Unfortunately, some are rock solid and others types of verifications have serious flaws.
The first thing to always remember about Facebook is that it is run by human beings, and many are poorly trained in how to recognize certain scams and scammers. So always be cautious online no matter if someone is verified or not!
Facebook Profile Verification
What is a verified profile?
Some profiles have been verified by Facebook to let people know that they’re authentic:
If you see a blue checkmark badge on a profile, it means that Facebook confirmed that this is the authentic profile for this public figure. Keep in mind that not all public figures, celebrities, and brands on Facebook have blue badges. Facebook decides in their own weird way who gets the badge even if they are verified.
The blue verification checkmark badge lets people know that a profile of public interest is authentic. Not the “Public Interest” that means you have to be a movie star to get one!
Facebook applies the blue verification badge to eligible public figures (not normal or even business people unless you are a rock star!). Eligibility for the blue verification badge is based on a variety of factors, such as account completeness, policy compliance, and public interest, also Facebooks own dictatorial voodoo selection system.
If an account doesn’t have a blue verification badge, it does not mean that it isn’t verified, it just means that in Facebook’s view it wasn’t worth the effort to flip on a simple switch to show the badge. Over 95% of verified profiles DO NOT SHOW the blue checkmark trust badge.
According to Facebook, there are other ways to help let people know that a profile authentic. But as well know only too well, that is a cop-out since few people know enough about Facebook Profile Forensics to properly identify fakes with 100% accuracy.
To request a blue verification badge from Facebook, a profile must comply with Facebook’s terms of service and have the following:
- A cover photo
- A profile photo
- A name that follows Facebook’s guidelines
- Content posted to the account
- “Follow” enabled (profiles only) – this is the disqualifier for anyone that has any sense. Followers are dangerous and allow scammers and cybercriminals to track your activities.
So the result is that if someone has “followers” turn off (as is recommended for safety) they cannot get the checkmark.
Every one of our own officers has been verified for years, but Facebook hasn’t yet added their blue marks!
When Is It A Fake Verification?
Many scammers add a blue checkmark to their main profile image to fool you. It is ONLY a confirmed verification if the blue checkmark appears next to the profile name.
If you see a gray checkmark badge on a Page, it means that Facebook confirmed that this is an authentic Page for this business or organization.
The gray checkmark verification badge lets people know that a Page for a business or organization is authentic. Except it doesn’t – it only lets someone know they have a utility bill in that name.
Facebook says that to be verified a page must be:
- Be published
- Have a profile picture and cover photo
- Have posts
To verify a Page: It must have publicly listed phone number for the business, country and, language. That means the business must have a publicly listed phone number, and in today’s world not all businesses do – a huge number of businesses use the cell phones of their officers (for example).
Keep in mind that Facebook does not always display the checkmark even if they have verified the business. Facebook appears to have a gigantic backlog of pages that have been verified but do not yet have the badge displayed. Additionally, if a business has many different pages, FB will only verify ONE page. The result is a breakdown of the Facebook trust system.
Facebook appears to have no verification process for groups at this time. However, groups can be linked to pages, so at least you know that a group is owned by the owners of a specific page.
Facebook has other kinds of verifications also. They have:
- Verified Business Partners
- Verified News Websites (Domain) (this website is a verified website – look for the “circle i” on links from RomanceScamsNow.com)
- Verified Website Owners
- Verified Parrent Companies
Great, everything is happy in the universe. A Blue or Grey checkmark tells you they have been verified and authentic. Unfortunately, the absence of a check mark does not mean they have not be verified, it only means it is not displayed.
For example, if a business changes their phone number in the information on a Page it will lose its trust mark. If the company uses a “brand” for their page, and the legal company name if different, then the page does not qualify for a trust mark (without the involvement of lawyers).
In short, the Facebook verification process is seriously flawed and in most cases broken, but when they display the marks you can reasonably trust them. Just do not automatically assume a profile or page without a mark is not trustworthy.
The Simple Rule Of Thumb?
Trust No One!
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FAQ: How Do You Properly Report Scammers?
It is essential that law enforcement knows about scams & scammers, even though there is nothing (in most cases) that they can do.
Always report scams involving money lost or where you received money to:
- Local Police – ask them to take an “informational” police report – say you need it for your insurance
- Your National Police or FBI (www.IC3.gov)
- The Scars Worldwide Reporting Network HERE or on www.Anyscam.com
This helps your government understand the problem, and allows law enforcement to add scammers on watch lists worldwide.
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