Q. Why doesn’t Facebook have its telephone-support number listed on its website? I often have questions about using the site.
A. Facebook does not list a telephone number for technical support because Facebook does not offer technical support over the phone. However, if you search the web for a Facebook tech hotline, you will find plenty of phone numbers on the results page — and most of them are frauds.
Dialing one of these “Facebook support” numbers can get you on the line with a con artist (often working in an overseas call center) who may make all sorts of claims about your account security or general computer health. Many promise to fix the problem in exchange for payment — sometimes in the form of iTunes gift-card numbers, which are used as currency in shadier parts of the internet. Because you have inadvertently supplied your phone number, failing to supply payment can lead to a barrage of harassing calls claiming that your Facebook account is becoming further compromised.
If you need assistance with your Facebook account, the company’s main resource is its online Help Center, which consists of pages of frequently asked questions on common topics, like managing your friends list, reporting abuse and keeping your account secure from intruders. You can report problems with your account by submitting a form on the site. The Help Center area also has community discussion forums, where you can post specific questions and get advice and (hopefully) answers from other Facebook users.
If you find human interaction works better for you for technical support, consider hiring a personal computer trainer (Angie’s List and Thumbtack are two possible sources for finding help locally) or asking for help in a nearby computer shop. Friends and family can be another source of help.
As for internet-based fraud that targets unsuspecting users, the Federal Trade Commission’s website keeps a running list of frauds to avoid. On the site, you can also sign up to get fraud alerts by email.