Don’t trust Facebook emails claiming unread messages will be deleted

At first glance, you might be tricked into believing that this is a legitimate email message from Facebook.

Facebook support email

Here’s some activity you may have missed on Facebook.

1 unread message

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But take a closer look.

The email claims to come from “FacebookSupport” (no space), and yet has a dodgy-looking From: address.

And why is the subject line the rather ungrammatical (and somewhat surreal, considering my name isn’t rinehart) “You have unread message that will be deleted in 5 days rinehart”?

Facebook support email

Furthermore, it has been sent to an email address that I haven’t given to Facebook.

When I clicked on the link (which I wouldn’t recommend if you are using your own computer), my browser was taken via a number of different sites, before finally resting on an oh-so-familiar Canadian pharmacy website offering to sell me Viagra and Cialis.

Canadian spam

Of course, the bad guys could just as easily lead you to a page designed to phish for your Facebook password, or try to install malware onto your computer if they determine it might be easy to exploit.

What’s more – do you really believe that Facebook is *ever* going to delete any of your data? Smirk…

Look out for the clues, think before you click, and keep your computer safe.

Graham Cluley is an award-winning keynote speaker who has given presentations around the world about cybersecurity, hackers, and online privacy. A veteran of the computer security industry since the early 1990s, he wrote the first ever version of Dr Solomon's Anti-Virus Toolkit for Windows, makes regular media appearances, and is the co-host of the popular "Smashing Security" podcast. Follow him on Twitter, Mastodon, Threads, Bluesky, or drop him an email.

2 comments on “Don’t trust Facebook emails claiming unread messages will be deleted”

  1. Coyote

    Not only would I expect Facebook to NOT delete my own information (if I ever supplied it), I would expect them to NOT delete it if by some chance a relative has information about me (or a family gathering I was at by some rare chance). Unfortunately that is how they operate and their stupid 'if you have nothing to hide you have nothing to fear' irks me every time (I can think of several things Mark himself would hide from others but he is so thick headed and anything that exposes more people to "social media" or "people" [online especially!] is surely a wonderful thing). I won't even get into other parts of that statement (the nothing to hide nothing to fear remark is obviously not just him but it is naive indeed).

    But your question is interesting because people that ARE so into Facebook DO believe that kind of thing; they believe near EVERYTHING. They just don't think and it is quite scary how obsessed they are with it… In fact, that isn't even strong enough word. The world revolves around them and what they post on Facebook. Attention seeking to the extreme, no matter negative or positive, they are, and that is a horrible trait to have… To think many are the same way when it comes to Facebook, is kind of… shocking? I don't even know what word to use.

    But here's what just came to mind. I somehow suspect if they were off Facebook they would be very different overall, and in many respects, adding more positive attributes. And one might suggest that the reason they are on Facebook is they are NOT different (which is an understandable deduction) but we have to keep things in perspective: Facebook is quite young and that also means younger than the mid-late teens on it….

  2. segeri9

    In a half asleep state, i unconsciously clicked the darn thing, and brought me to some residential russian website. changed my password immediately. is there anything I should do as a security measure? feeling a bit redfaced right now for falling for such a underhanded trick….

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