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Seen At 11: The ‘Facebook Lockout’ Is Not A Scam; It’s Designed To Prevent Scams

Social Networking Giant Out To Protect You, Even If It Inconveniences You First
Facebook Logo (file / credit: KAREN BLEIER/AFP/Getty Images)

Facebook Logo (file / credit: KAREN BLEIER/AFP/Getty Images)

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — If you use social media, you may be at risk of getting locked out of your own account, and it’s not a scam.

As CBS 2’s Maurice DuBois reported Monday, Facebook is actually locking people out of their accounts on purpose.

Karina Moreno is like a lot of Facebook fans — she admitted she can’t go very long without checking her own Facebook page.

“Every single day, on my phone; if it’s not on my phone, on my computer — 24/7 pretty much,” she said.

But recently — without warning or explanation — Moreno was locked out of her Facebook account. Her profile was still there, but she couldn’t log in.

“It asked me to submit a government issued photo ID, so I automatically assumed it was scam,” she said.

When Moreno contacted Facebook, she was told it’s no scam. If she ever wanted to access her account again, she’d have to provide a copy of her ID.

And Moreno is not the only user this has happened to. A quick look online, and CBS 2 found countless numbers of Facebook, as well as Instagram users, complaining of the same temporary shutdown.

“Why should I have to submit it to a free social networking website?” she said. “It’s absolutely ridiculous.”

It’s ridiculous, Moreno said, because she didn’t have to supply a government issued ID when she first signed up with the site. So why now?

“There’s a lot of people faking profiles and using them maliciously,” said Chris Morran of The Consumerist online magazine.

Morran said it is all part of a new round of checks by some social media sites to verify users and prevent scams like catfishing — made famous by the Manti Te’o scandal.

“As long as they’re within the law, they have the right to do what they want,” Morran said. “And you, as a consumer, have the right to not use Facebook.”

A Facebook representative told CBS 2 the company updated its terms of service recently to include suspension of accounts that violate certain rules such as being younger than 13 years old, bullying, posting inappropriate content, and copyright violations.

But Moreno insists she didn’t violate any of Facebook’s new rules.

Eventually, the company did restore her login and apologized, saying her account was suspended by mistake. But she said the whole experience has left her wanting to “defriend” the social media site.

“I’m against Facebook right now completely,” she said.

Before providing a copy of your ID, experts suggest contacting Facebook first to find out why you’re being locked out.

Have you ever been locked out of Facebook and asked to provide an ID? Leave your comments below…