Question from Catherine: I have a big problem Rick. I clicked a link in a Facebook post and it must have infected my account with a virus because it immediately started sending out SPAM messages.
To be exact, the virus sent a spam message to everyone on my friends list. When I found out about it I changed my password, and everything seemed to be ok.
A few days later, I got married and changed my name on Facebook to my new last name. The next day Facebook deactivated my account.
Now Facebook wants to see a copy of my ID before they’ll reinstate my account.
The thing is I REALLY don’t want to give my drivers license out, especially since I’m not even positive that the message requesting to see it was even sent from Facebook.
Is there some way to get my Facebook account reinstated with just my cell phone number? Thanks.
Rick’s answer: I’m sorry this happened to you Catherine. I could be wrong, but I’m guessing that changing your name so soon after the spam blast went out is what prompted Facebook to question your identity.
Folks get married and change their names all the time, and scammers sending spam messages from hacked accounts is a fairly common occurrence. I doubt if either of those situations by itself would prompt Facebook to deactivate an account so quickly.
In regards to your question, Facebook does usually request to see a valid ID when certain security-related issues arise, but you do not have to send a copy of your drivers license if you’d rather not do that.
There is actually a fairly long list of documents which they will accept. You’ll find that list on this page, and as you can see, they list “official name change paperwork” as one of the options.
Bottom line: Unfortunately, I don’t know of any way to get your old Facebook account reinstated other than sending them proof of your identity. If you would rather not do that, your only real option is to create an entirely new account.
I hope this helps Catherine. Good luck!
Bonus tip #1: After you have regained access to your Facebook account (or opened a new one) I strongly recommend that you enable Two-Factor Authentication on it to prevent hackers from breaking into it yet again. This post explains how to enable it.
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