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Here’s how Facebook Messenger is preventing unwanted contacts and scams

Facebook is coming up with a new feature for Messenger that will display warning messages when a suspicious ‘contact’ tries to reach users. The new safety feature is targeted to help people avoid potentially harmful interactions and possible scams without compromising their privacy.

“Our strategy to keep people safe on Messenger focuses not only on giving them the information and controls they need to prevent abuse from happening, but also on detecting it and responding quickly if it occurs,” writes Facebook in their blog.

The app uses advanced machine learning algorithms to identify scammers. For example, when someone is trying to impersonate one of your friends, the system will notice the similarity in names and display “This chat is with someone whose name looks like another friend’s” message. You can then easily block the suspicious account in the same chat window.

Facebook Messenger will also be adding a new feature which will educate people under the age of 18 to be cautious when interacting with an adult they may not know. They will be able to take action before responding to a message, as they will receive a similar display where they can choose to block the account.

“These features show a great integration of the technical tools that will help curb bad behaviour on the platform, while also reminding people of their own control over their account. It’s important to use language that empowers people to make wise decisions and think more critically about who they’re interacting with online. We’re especially glad to see this reflected in the thoughtful approach around safety considerations for younger users,” said Stephen Balkam, CEO of the Family Online Safety Institute.

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Besides these features, Facebook offers tips to avoid scams on their platform as some spam and scam accounts “can be hard to identify at first”. You can look through them here.

Facebook also wrote that they have launched the feature out on Android in March. However, they will be bringing it to iOS next week. 

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