Why Is It So Hard To Contact Facebook FFS?!
August 28, 2012 6:26 AM   Subscribe

Someone has set up a Facebook account using my work email address. This person has the same first name as me, but a different last name. I am now receiving messages from Facebook meant for her. I have no idea how to contact this person about this, nor have I been able to find a way to contact Facebook about this. Help!

I've gone through the "help" section in Facebook and there's nothing there that seems to address this situation - it's not an "impostor" account or a hacked account, so the links to report those don't apply...it honestly just looks like this person mistyped their email address and coincidentally happened upon mine. I can't find a way to submit a report to Facebook about this problem - they don't even have a generic "contact us" email, as far as I can tell. Any ideas?

I have tried to contact the person making an educated guess as to what her actual email address is based on her name as it shows up in the emails I am getting for her from Facebook, but to no avail - I got a bounce back.

I could always just ignore the emails/set up a filter that automatically deletes them, but if there is a way for me to rectify this somehow (I'm sure this person would prefer that I didn't get random emails meant for her), I'd prefer that.

Thanks as always in advance, hive mind.
posted by thereemix to Technology (12 answers total)
If you use the Search feature in Facebook to search for your work email address, it should bring up the account associated with that address (unless she has her privacy settings configured to block her from showing up in a search).
posted by BurntHombre at 6:31 AM on August 28, 2012 [1 favorite]

If you have the e-mail address the account is registered under, can't you just change the password and delete the account?
posted by Jahaza at 6:33 AM on August 28, 2012 [20 favorites]

Three thoughts:

1. Make more educated guesses about the person's actual email address, try every possibility you can think of, and/or google for related possibilities.

2. Go into Facebook and ask for password reset which will of course be sent to your email address and then you can reset the password and basically take over the account. At that point you can do any number of things, including deleting it, but one would be to leave a message explaining the situation and asking her friends to contact her to correct it (s/he won't be able to get into facebook again, presumably, since s/he doesn't have the password any more).

3. Send Facebook messages to the Facebook account explaining the situation to the person. Or try FB messages to the person's FB friends.

Not sure about the ethics of #2, but since the account is made under your email address, in some sense it is yours, maybe (?).
posted by flug at 6:36 AM on August 28, 2012 [3 favorites]

Can you try friending the person with your own Facebook account and include an explanation of the situation in the text of the friend request? I also like flug's idea #2, but I think you are obligated to exhaust some more options for contacting the person before going nuclear like that.
posted by Rock Steady at 6:50 AM on August 28, 2012 [1 favorite]

Seconding Jahaza - tell Facebook that "you" (work-address-you) forgot your password, do a password reset, log in, delete the account.
posted by D.Billy at 6:55 AM on August 28, 2012

Deleting would be better than leaving her information ghosting out there on the internet, especially if she can't access what she's already shared.

If she set up an account under your email address, she would also need to verify the account from your email address. Since that obviously can't happen, her account is probably not active.

This has happened to me before. I was able to reset the password with Facebook emailing the link to password reset. Then I was able to go into that account and delete it.
posted by mlo at 6:55 AM on August 28, 2012

The facebook account would have email attached to it: the nomenclature is username@facebook.com or usernumber@facebook.com.

You could try emailing the person at that address suggesting they change their email address associated with the account. This wouldn't involve you invading their account in any way and should get the message across.
posted by Rodrigo Lamaitre at 6:58 AM on August 28, 2012 [1 favorite]

I'd email facebook using the address for the "imposter" account and explain the difference. S/he's not claiming to be you, no, but s/he did use your email as his/her email and now you're being bombed with his/her FB messages.

As for emailing the person's FB account, that just forwards it onto the non-FB email associated with the account, I believe, so you'd be effectively emailing yourself.
posted by Meep! Eek! at 7:18 AM on August 28, 2012 [1 favorite]

I was able to reset the password with Facebook emailing the link to password reset. Then I was able to go into that account and delete it.

I've had to do this as well, it's the best way -- you stop getting her notifications, and her notifications stop going to a total stranger. Go to Facebook, log in, say you've forgotten your password, they send you a link, and you log in to "your" account and delete it.

Facebook itself was no help, and whoever set up that account can start over using an e-mail address that's actually hers this time.
posted by mgar at 7:51 AM on August 28, 2012

Thanks guys - I was able to reset the password and delete the account. mlo is correct; the account wasn't technically active because she'd never been able to verify the account, since all notifications were coming to my email address. That being said, this should cease the emails coming to me from Facebook intended for her, and she can try again to set up an account, hopefully this time using the correct email address.

I still am having trouble wrapping my brain around how she managed to conflate her personal email address with my work email address - but no matter. It should be taken care of now.\

Thanks everyone!
posted by thereemix at 8:08 AM on August 28, 2012

I don't think it was a genuine mistake. I received authentication requests at my personal gmail for an account attempting to set up for Joe Blow. I just ignored it. Spam lists have email addresses they'd go through one by one for this purpose imho.
posted by infini at 10:51 AM on August 28, 2012

I had this same problem. Some person think their gmail address is mine with a period in the middle. Gmail ignores periods. This person signs up for stuff ALL THE TIME and seemingly doesn't use things more than once and doesn't seem to get the internet she's(?) always sending forgotten password links. I thought it was spam or hackers or something scary but all the sites are pretty innocuous. (But if anyone has any thoughts on this, let me know!)

For Facebook, I kept changing the password and then deactivating the account, but every few months, she'd try unsuccessfully to reactive and retrieve "forgotten" password. Finally, the DELETED the account and then association the e-mail address with MY account, so she can't have it anymore to make a separate account with.
posted by lalalana at 5:36 PM on August 28, 2012

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