After living in the US for almost 2 months (attending SXSW and Coachella), let’s just say I returned to Ghana with a huge appetite to make money, and quick!
I received a message on Facebook saying “Hello I’m Interested in renting your page i’ll just give you 2 articles in a day that you can post yourself on the page i’ll pay you 3000 USD $ per week and my all payments will be done in advance. Note: We don’t need any kind of access on your page.”
I decided to play along knowing fully how these things always end up being a scam or an attempt to hack accounts.
“Please provide me your valid email id. I’ll add your email to Facebook instant article dashboard then you’ll receive an email from Facebook just get start and follow Facebook instructions,” she continued, when I showed interest.
I gave them my email and soon received an email. Although I was playing along all this while, after receiving this email, I started to give it more consideration. Yes, because it was a legit email from Facebook (no phishing), saying I had been invited to join ‘Instant Articles’ . I Immediately assumed they were making it possible to run their Instant Articles on my page, since I have a huge audience.
To be double sure, I took some screenshots to ask for some more technical support from my tech support guy! He also felt it was legit. Not still sure, I first linked their request to my other page, ‘Ameyaw TV’ so incase they did anything untoward, I would be a little bit at ease.
I soon got another message from them to alert me that I had linked the wrong page. Then they made the bait even more appealing, by asking me to send them payment details so they could send some payments. Well, I fell for it and soon realized it was a hoax.
They basically created a Facebook Business Manager account and called it ‘Instant Articles’, using the Instant Articles logo. So when I added my page to their Business Manager, they used that to remove my page from my original Business Manager account. So now they owned my page and had admininstrator rights, perhaps even more than I did.
Occasionally they would add new admins to my page ( people with Arabic names), and also post videos on my page. I didn’t contact them or remove what they posted just so I wouldn’t anger them, because with them still owning my page, they could do the worst!
Anyway, I started reporting to Facebook through my contacts, and when that wasn’t too fruitful, I found a Facebook tool that allowed me to report the issue. I gained full ownership of my page on Friday, and needless to say, I have learnt the hard way!