I am writing this to inform users of a problem in the Instant Article Feature of Facebook. I followed the instructions of an user that pretended to be a Facebook Employer and then I lost access to my Fanpage Style And Curve . (https://www.facebook.com/styleandcurve)
Let’s talk first how the whole story started with a timeline:
JULY 27, 2018
THE OFFER THAT SOUNDED TOO GOOD TO BE TRUE
Last week, I was offered to do sponsored ads on Facebook from a young woman who works for ViralNova, Distractified and Little Things. She offered me $1500 per week for sponsored posts, which sounded too good for me, but I wanted to know more and she seemed like a nice girl. To get that I had to activate the Business Feature on my Fanpage and had to apply for the Instant Article Feature. The name of the woman was Nicola Clarke and she gave me the link to Instant Article herself. I activated Instant Article and I continued to discuss the offer with the her, but after I was not given more insights I ended the chat and blocked the person. I kept the Instant Article Feature alive, cause I thought if I can find better clients; I can totally run ads through my page and earn money. My contact with Nicola ended and I thought everything is ok.
I want to add here also an example article which Nicola offered to only share on my page:
As you can see I was offered articles that match my page image. I was sent more examples, but I only saved this one, but they were positive and uplifting offers.
FIND OUT MORE ABOUT INSTANT ARTICLE ON FACEBOOK HERE.
July 30 + 31, 2018
REMOVED AS ADMIN FROM MY FANPAGE
On July 30, I got an email that I was removed as an admin on my Facebook fanpage (https://www.facebook.com/styleandcurve). I went online and I couldn’t post as Style And Curve anymore. I was shocked and totally angry at Facebook first. I sent several reports through my profile, but all I got was a robotic generated answer. I went to the Instant Article page, cause it works like an additional Business User account and saw in the settings that a person was refered as a “Facebook Employee” with the email “email@example.com”. My first thought was “YAY. Direct contact, wow, what a great thing does Facebook offer with the Instant Article Feature.” So I wrote her, everything that I wrote through my profile before.
I asked this from Facebook and Emma Miller:
To give me access again to my Fanpage, cause I have created that brand and I am posting on the page.
I said that they cannot do this, cause I am the owner and founder of it.
I asked the Instant Article Feature to be removed and that my paypal info should also be removed.
I added in my email the link of my website, because it also shows my face, in order to offer a legitimisation.
Luckily, for me I got the admin role back cause my business partner activated his old account again and he was immidiatly page admin again so he could add me. I tried to remove the business acoount feature and started to remove my paypal, but it didn’t work. So I sent a report to Facebook via a link where is said “need help” on the payment info page. I am so thankful I did that! Facebook did only due to that created a case for me.
On July 31, I got another email that I was removed as admin again. I wrote to facebook and I finally got an answer from the “Facebook Employee” Emma Miller. I asked Emma also that the Instant Article Feature should be removed, so she gave me these instructions:
Emma Miller: Go into ‘settings’ in your Instagram account and switch from business to personal, and that should disconnect it.
Emma Miller: And just after 15 minutes it will be removed
Me: You mean my instant article feature will be removed when i delete the business feature on Insta? Sorry, i have connection problems today.
Emma Miller: Follow what I asked to do and it will be removed.
After doing all she said, my fanpage was removed from Facebook for an hour, although I only asked to remove the Instant Article Feature. Later it came back online and Nicola or Emma had shared a stupid article about love making and astrology on my page, while I still had no access.
At the same time I got an email from Facebook Support with Job: 639142883139174. I informed them about everything that happened, asked to get access again and to remove the Instant Article Feature from my fanpage. All Facebook did through the open email was to ask me for ID proof, while the other person could get access easily. Facebook removed then the article of Emma Miller and removed her as active user for Instant Article. After that, I could still got access to the Instant Article page, but I still had no access to my fanpage. Emma is still mentioned there as Facebook Employee though.
August 1 – 3, 2018
FAKE SUPPORT EMAILS
During this process I realized that the contact person from ViralNova, who offered me paid ads, called Nicola Clarke and Emma Miller look very much alike. Well, they are the same person. I also realized why she asked me to remove the Business Feature on Instagram, cause only without this connection she could finally post on my page.
So, I continued to report through my open case to Facebook Support with Job: 639142883139174 via email to this email: <firstname.lastname@example.org> and I was only asked to send more information about me. See image below of that email.
I realized later on August 1, that the email had a lot of errors. I published the photo in my IG story and fans and friends also realized that. My friend from NYC reasearched if it’s a legit email and he said how I can find out what Facebook has send to me. See image info below:
I figured out that all the emails regarding the Job: 639142883139174 were also from a fake email and not from Facebook directly. At this point I was certain that it was a full page hack and a potential identiy theft. I hope it was not working, because they only got the front of my passport although they wanted both sides.
I changed then on August 1 my passwords on Facebook and Instagram and removed my payment information. I then finally understood that the answer to my “need help” report regarding the removal of my paypal from my business account was open and unanswered by me in my Support Inbox. I reported the page hack on August 3 through my Support Inbox. I need to wait for the reaction from Facebook and I am afraid that they will keep me logged out from my page and that they even remove my account. I asked also for a verification after I get access again, yet I am not sure they will accept it.
I don’t know why Emma Miller is still mentioned in my Instant Article Account as an Facebook Employee, but I guess it’s cause the Instant Article Feature is sabotaged by the hackers.
I also think that Nicola doesn’t work for ViralNova nor any other news platform mentioned on her page.
WHY DID IT HAPPEN TO ME?
The answer is simple, because I have over 120k followers and because I felt for the compliments of a young girl. To be honest, I get a lot of emails from young girls and young women saying thank you that my page excists and how I make them happy with my posts. I am even friends with some of them nowadays. Therefore, my guard was not on in the case of Nicola/Emma. Besides that, this was not the first offer for Facebook ads that I recieved, but the first time I stept into the trap. I feel very sorry and sad about the mistake I did, but I also had no experience with Instant Articles before.
COULD IT HAVE BEEN DONE BY THE S** MAFFIA? (UPDATE)
WEAKNESS IN THE INSTANT ARTICLE SYSTEM OF FACEBOOK?
MY FEELINGS ON THIS ISSUE
That was the sum-up from my rational writer self, now I want to talk about my emotions. It is horrifying to see how easy you can loose your page and how unprotected you are nowadays on social media pages. I built up that page in 5 years of hard work. I went through a 2 years depression and before that I worked in a full-time job and then after work in a full-time hobby that should turn to an income. I have spent since 2013 so many hours online working on my Fanpage. I shared before regularly 6-10 pots a day on Facebook. Every minute that I was a bit free at work I posted something. Plus, I didn’t only repost something I added my own thoughts and words, because I wanted my posts to be amazing. I did all that for free in 5 years and I kept doing that although Facebook and Instagram had nothing else to do in the recent year than to diminish my reach and to disconnect me from my followers, plus to forcefully reduce my followers. Seeing now how my hard work gets destroyed by hackers is hurting my heart deeply.
Waiting now only to get my fanpage back and my FB and IG verified, because without that I might delete my facebook pages and profile. What happened scared me too much and I am considering a deletion.
I hope that more page owners get informed and warned. Do not activate the Instant Article Feature at all and be careful with offers for Ads through Facebook.
REACTIONS FROM FACEBOOK – THE REAL FACEBOOK! (UPDATE – Aug 3,2018)
On August 3, 2018 I received this answer:
Thanks for contacting us again. Sorry for not replying back sooner, as we are experiencing high volumes of requests. I appreciate your patience and understanding.
Lyz, your message was forwarded to the appropriate team to address your question.
You will hear from them as soon as they have an update on your problem.
I apologize for any inconvenience caused. If you have other questions or concerns about this issue, please reply to this response and I’ll be happy to assist you further.
Have a good day, Lyz!
I am so happy to get a reaction from a real Facebook Employee, you can’t imagine how much of an relief it was to see the real case open and ready for answer in my Support Inbox. I thought that I was right to contact them about a financial matter, because otherwise they didn’t react to my problem. No matter how much I reported, it was only getting a generated answer. I had no idea how difficult the situation still is.
UPDATE AUGUST 3, 2018 (a few hours later)
Facebook closed the case in my Support Inbox on August 3, 2018; but I opened it up again. In the meantime, I got an email from Facebook Security telling me that Emma Miller removed my Business Account and me still from my page.
I lost all trust in Facebook when I saw this. I was hopefull before that they will take care of my page, but then I knew they don’t. The hackers still have access to my page.
A few minutes later I got this email from the Fake Facebook Support asking me if my problem is solved. If they were from facebook then they would knew it’s not solved. These criminals!
THESE TWO EMAILS ALREADY RUINED MY HOPE, BUT THEN THEY POSTED AGAIN ON MY PAGE. The posts are removed now.
I am staying quite and not commenting on the posts, cause I don’t want them to block me. I am just making screenshots to save proof here.
I also checked older email notifications I got from Facebook and the email ending with facebookmail.com is really from Facebook.
This could mean 3 different things:
- That the hackers use the official facebook system and Facebook doesn’t check what happens, because they have too much to do.
- That Facebook supports what happens right now with my page. It also means that Emma Miller really works for Facebook in Dublin and that she can do whatever she wants within the Instant Article Feature.
- It could also mean that the Email from Emma with the info that my Business Account is removed is also fake, yet I have no Instant Article access anymore. Facebook must have approved that.
No matter which way it is, these images could suggest that Facebook supports hackers that use their system and they do not protect the rightfull owners of the fanpages.
I am highly dissapointed of Facebook to give them access again. I have no words to this. My emotions are going crazy and the hurt that happened is very big. This could ruin my brand. I know I am responcible for this, but I had no idea how dangerous the Instant Article system is. It is really a weakness, which I cannot promote using anymore.
FACEBOOK REACTION FROM AUGUST 4 – MORNING CET
I made the same report for hacking as before, added my ID and asked to remove my Ad Account, my Paypal and the Instant Article Feature and finally to add me back as admin of the page. It happened through this link: https://www.facebook.com/help/contact/164405897002583. The payment staff said my answer will only appear in the Support Inbox, so that is good and I can distinguish between what is real or not. And the time duration of an answer got reduced to 3-5 days, so let’s see if they will keep this promise.
My opinion mentioned above didn’t change. Instant Article is not a secure system and it can get misused easily. I still think that one can hold Facebook accountable for the actions their “Facebook Employers” did. It doesn’t even matter if Emma Miller is a hacker or a real person, the evidence only showed that she is a real employee of them and she alone removed me and made the horrible posts.
Yet, let’s see how Facebook will react now.
HERE ARE THE UPDATES OF ALL THE CONTENT SHARED ON MY PAGE BY THE HACKERS – STARTING FROM AUGUST 4
I tried to keep a quite weekend. I feld so hurt, tired and demotivated after such a horrible week. So, I needed the timeout. On sunday night, I wrote again to Fcaebook on their page through the open case this:
Why are the hackers still able to post on my page?
I told you that it’s an emergency and I think they shouldnt be allowed to post on my page. Yet, I saw yesterday night that they shared another post. Their posts either get removed by facebook or they remove it themselves, but I screenshot all and I screenshot every conversation I have.
Why could the hackers still post?
Also does Emma Miller really work for Facebook or not? I got an email that my business acount was removed by Emma Miller through your facebookmail.com mail. It made me believe that she really works for you. But Emma is the person who disconnected me from my Instagram to be able to post s** articles of Halishi Times, and she is the one who doesnt give me access back as a admin. she removed me. Also, before I wasnt able to do anything in the Instant Article page. Does that mean that the Instant Article is also fake or is it real?
I dont know what to believe anymore.
I added the email of Emma Miller from facebookmail.com and the post that was shared last night, after I already reported the issue. They shouldnt be allowed to post.
Reply from FB, which I received today:
I hope you are well!
Thank you for being so patient, we have had a very high volume of requests, so I am happy to assist you now.
Really sorry for any previous inconvenience!
If you filled the form from the previous message. You should get a new case number and it should appear through the support inbox. They will be in contact with you in 2 – 3 days business days.
Lyz, have a good day!”
I really hope my issue gets solved soon.
THE ROCKY HORROR FACEBOOK SHOW CONTINUES. I am astonished by how incompetent Facebook is. This morning I had in my news feed the notification to connect my Facebook with my Instagram Page “STYLE & CURVE MAG BY LYZ LUPO” (this was the name at that moment).
I thought: “YAY, they finally did something. So I can now connect my Facebook Fanpage Style And Curve Mag with my IG.” (Original Link: https://www.facebook.com/styleandcurve)
Guess what? I was so wrong! Facebook created a new page with the name “STYLE & CURVE MAG BY LYZ LUPO” and made me admin and they have removed my original fanpage Style And Curve Mag”. Gone, just like that!
I got up late, cause I had trouble sleeping due to the heat in Holland, but once I was awake and had a coffee I deleted the newly created page and disconnected my Instagram from Facebook again.
My original fanpage with 120k followers is still removed and I just made another report regarding a page problem. It is now 10 days ago since I lost access to my page the first time.
Instead, of just working on connecting me to my page Facebook created a new connection and a new page and I have just lost 120k followers.
HOW IS THIS POSSIBLE?
REQUEST FOR A STATEMENT OF FACEBOOK PRESS
Number of Reports to Facebook: 9, including one report to the payment department and one request for an answer of 12 questions to Facebook Press
Number of Messages to the Payment department case: 14, with detailed information and proof as presented in this article
I got by now feedback from other pages, who also got hacked. It took them several weeks or over one month to get Facebook to finally do something. Some of them had to report every day, through all channels possible until something happened. In the meantime, the hackers kept posting on their pages and kept ruining the pages.
I am interested to hear the answers from Facebook on the issue that I got an email from Facebook that Emma Miller has removed me as admin. It looks fake to me, but I need their statement on it also.
The biggest problem in this remains the problem with the consumer support Facebook has and the fact that machines cannot provide a real support. Facebook is the most important social media page still. Why are they not working on getting more people involved for Consumer Service? I mean pages with this big following, they should do a lot more for the users. I am sure, I need to wait so long only because there is so much to do. Would you want to have a company, that needs too long to answer requests? If I could afford hiring people, then I would invest in that a lot more.
I learned from this experience that I shouldn’t rely too much on pages that don’t offer excellent customer care.
It’s hard but I try to stay positive and fight for my rights.
Lyz Lupo (artist name)
Claudia Katona (birth name)
Creator, Founder, Owner and Mastermind behind
Style And Curve
Social Media Links created and owned my me:
https://www.facebook.com/styleandcurve/ (no access)
*ALL IMAGES ARE SCREENSHOTS AND NOT EDITED
*THIS FIRST TITLE “How I lost access to my Style And Curve Fanpage, because hackers pretended to work for Facebook and it could have even been done by Russians” WAS SHARED 20 TIMES ON FACEBOOK.
- Header Image done by Milton Franklyn Goedhoop, Amsterdam
- Last edited on August 8, 2018 at 12:24 pm CET