Facebook still feels like the wild west, and not because its users wear cowboy hats and assless chaps. In Facebook’s own words, the website is packed full of things like “romance scams” and “inheritance scams.” It’s easy to swindle someone out of their dough over Messenger, so Facebook will now warn you when you receive a “potentially harmful” message.
It’s a simple system. If Facebook detects that a stranger is sending you suspicious messages, then the website will ask you to be wary of scams and to never send money to strangers. It’ll also ask if you’re familiar with the potential scammer, and give you the option to block them from Messenger.
Additionally, Facebook will warn you when you’re talking to someone who might be impersonating a family member, a friend, or a public figure. Impostor scams are common on Facebook, and are often used to pull money, private information, or embarrassing photos from unsuspecting victims.
Facebook is also using its scam and impersonator-detecting systems to protect minors. Now, people under 18 will receive a warning to “be cautious when interacting with an adult they may not know,” along with the option to block strangers from the Messenger app.
These pop-ups may seem annoying to some people, but they’re long overdue. Facebook has been a scammer’s paradise for the last decade, and the Payments over Messenger system has only made things easier. According to Facebook, these new safety features are packed with better behind-the-scenes encryption for Messenger, and the website hopes to implement full end-to-end encryption for Messenger soon.