By Better Business Bureau® Serving Greater Cleveland
Here’s what you need to know about this monthly subscription service in order to keep yourself, your business and your employees safe from scam artists.
Meta founder Mark Zuckerburg recently announced that the company is introducing Meta Verified, a paid “blue verification badge” for Facebook and Instagram. According to the news release, the monthly subscription service includes a verification badge, protection against impersonating accounts, increased visibility, priority customer service and other exclusive features.
Previously, when Twitter announced its $8-a-month blue checkmark program for a “verified account,” BBB warned against the possibility of phishing scams. Similarly, scammers may try to target users of Facebook and Instagram, which includes businesses. Phishing scams may take the form of direct messages or emails that appear to come directly from Twitter, Instagram or another social media platform. They may state that a verified account has been compromised and if the user doesn’t respond, they can lose their access. Additionally, the scam message may ask users to click on a link or download a form. This link may download malware onto devices or collect personal data, including login and password data, without the user’s knowledge.
As with any new program, there will be initial confusion on what it all means, and scammers are waiting in the wings to grab any new opportunity. Be sure you and your employees have the facts and protect yourself against future scam artists. BBB is a trusted resource to help guide consumers and businesses to accurate information.
Here’s what you need to know:
- Regular Facebook and Instagram users do not have to pay. The subscription service is an option to help creators and businesses build their communities.
- The optional Meta subscription service will cost $11.99 per month on the web and $14.99 for the iOS and Android app. Twitter’s blue check is $8 a month for web and $11 for iOS and Android. Twitter also announced an upcharge for its new secure text messaging program.
- Meta Verified is initially only available in New Zealand and Australia starting February 21, but may expand globally soon and to business accounts eventually. Twitter Blue is available in many countries, including the U.S. and Canada.
- Private users must meet the minimum requirements, be at least 18 years old, and submit a government ID that matches the name and photo on Facebook and Instagram to be eligible for a verification badge.
- The paid Meta verification badge for businesses is different from the current verification process. Users who do the current free business verification process for their profiles won’t receive a badge.
Be on the lookout for potential scams:
- Watch out for phishing emails, texts and direct messages offering upgrades to your Facebook or Instagram accounts. Don’t send a photo of your government ID to a scammer!
- Older adults may be more vulnerable to scams. Reassure your friends, coworkers and loved ones that they don’t have to pay anything right now.
- Beware of impostors pretending to be from Meta, Facebook or Instagram.
- Always check links before clicking; go directly to the source.
- Fact-check all information. Go directly to Facebook, Instagram and Twitter’s help pages if you are unsure.
For additional tips and resources, visit BBB.org to help keep your small business thriving. Contact your Better Business Bureau by calling 216.241.7678 or emailing firstname.lastname@example.org. Interested in becoming BBB Accredited? Find out how you can apply for BBB Accreditation.