Why is Facebook Messenger saying goodbye to its website chat plugin? Short explanation: it’s become a hotbed for scammers.

Wait, what??

In January this year, we wrote an article on how to turn off the Facebook Messenger Guest Mode Option. The idea was simple, and pretty clever: people not signed in to their Facebook account could still message the Page or website through the Messenger option, Guest Chat Feature.

Most people don’t stay signed in to Facebook on either their desktops or mobile devices, so Facebook was trying to be helpful by offering a way for potential customers to still get in touch with a business. What could possibly go wrong with that thought?

The reason was something Facebook should have seen coming.

What happened next?

Scammers used their super-tech skills to find these unsuspecting Facebook pages and websites and sent them somewhat threatening but harmful messages. Messages were disguised as being from Meta/Facebook, saying something like, “…your Facebook page has been scheduled for deletion due to a trademark violation…”. Typically, messages also included a link to either complete a form or to log in and fill one out so the victim could make their case to “Facebook”.

Remember seeing anything like this in your chat?

One next step for members: label this message as spam and block the sender from sending another message – basically, Facebook jail (the “cure”, I call it). This “cure” became another problem for some; if a member marked too many messages as spam and blocked too many senders within a specific time (as determined by its algorithm), Facebook could lock the Page admin(s) out of the page. An email is then sent to the admin(s) with instructions to unlock the page. While this sounds like an “old school” process, this is typical of Meta/Facebook communication.

That means the “cure” became a punishment, similar to a Direct Denial of Service (DDOS) attack on a website. In a DDOS, the hacker’s bots can “hit” your website with repeated requests, slowing down the site because it’s trying to respond, until eventually no one can see your site. For a good definition of a DDOS and how to protect your website, follow this link from WPBeginner.com.

Protect yourself!

This message created a lot of anxiety for Facebook members. We believe, due to the number of complaints about the Guest Mode Option, Facebook FINALLY decided to end the feature as of May 9, 2024. Lemme hear you say, “YAY”!

Some tips listed below can also be found in our article updated August 2023.

  1.  Choose a strong password. Everybody has an opinion about password length. WordPress starts at around 17 characters; some password managers like LastPass say start with 12. We recommend between 17 – 32 characters.
  2.  Use a password manager. Remembering long passwords is a hassle. Even if you do write them down (low tech), if you lose that post-it-note, then what? Some password managers are free (i.e., Google Password Manager); some are free with a paid option (i.e., Last Pass), while others may have a trial-then-pay plan (i.e., BitWarden). A password manager should have a Password Authenticator app for your mobile device. We covered this in our video about two-factor authentication – you can watch this on our YouTube channel.
  3.  Turn on two-factor or multi-factor authentication. When you log in to Facebook with this option turned on, you have to get a 6-digit code from the Password Manager Authenticator app. Yes, this is going to be a slight inconvenience. Would you rather lose your Page’s history, anything that is intellectual property, reviews and testimonials?
  4.  Don’t click or tap that link! It’s also the title of an article we wrote and linked above. Just because you’ve been sent a link to something you didn’t ask for doesn’t mean you click or tap it! This is a favorite trick of scammers, and has kept us busy since April 2023. TRUST BUT VERIFY. Check out the profile; if there’s not a legit picture in the avatar, if it looks like clipart, treat it like a scam.

In closing…

Scammers make their careers out of getting around programs to get control of your digital assets. Make it harder for scammers to get your stuff!

Keep posting your business win and, thought leadership to your social media pages. Delight your customers and raving fans! Make it ridiculously easy for customers and prospects to do business with you (thank you for that tip, David Avrin!), and make it harder for scammers to win!


Be strategic. Be visible. Be found.

Ready to start using social media smarter, not harder? Schedule a one-on-one coffee chat over ZOOM to talk about strategically incorporating both social media and inbound strategies into your current marketing plan.

Branded ZOOM backgrounds allow businesses to not only add another option for secondary marketing but also confirm both identity and authority to prospects and customers. Investment starts at $85. Visit our webpage to get started.

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  • Lisa Raymond

    Lisa Raymond is the owner and creative genius of Visibly Media. She has been in graphic and website design since 1997, social media management & marketing since 2007, married over 30 years, 4 children, 4 grandbabies, and Queen in her organized realm of chaos! Lisa & Visibly Media do not use any AI in the creation of marketing strategies, posts, and graphics.

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