Facebook page administrators, beware: While the social network does have verified pages, do not respond to notifications from a page called Verified Page that request permission to take ownership of your pages.
Freshome fell victim to the scam, losing control of its Facebook page, which was unpublished by the scammer. The online design and architecture magazine wrote about its experience in a blog post to warn other page admins:
When we first saw this notification, we thought that Facebook finally decided to verify the Freshome Facebook page — Facebook is very vague on how this process actually works — but it seems that this notification was actually a scam that left Freshome without a Facebook page.
How this scam/hack actually works: Somebody (with bad intentions) created a fake profile with a fake user name (Verified Page) and a very misleading profile picture (that actually looks like the notification came from Facebook) and asked us to take ownership of our page. Since Facebook is not clear on how this process works, we didn’t know what to expect, and we clicked approve, and now more than 1 million people who liked our page can’t access our Facebook page. It seems that the guy who took over our page unpublished the page from Facebook, and right now, if you try to access it, you will be redirected to Facebook main page.
We’ve already reported this problem to Facebook and also noticed on the Facebook Help Center that more and more people have experienced this problem today (here, here, and here), and more and more people started to complain about this scam in the comments section.
More pages appeared later that try to steal pages: Page Verified, Page Verifier, and Page Vérifiée.
The Freshome Facebook page has since been restored.
Readers: Have you received any similar notifications?