Thursday, September 21, 2023

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Understanding How to Control Them

I originally wrote this blog post when there was a weird loophole that had tons of Facebook Events invitations flooding my inbox. Since then, I have been in better control of what I perceive to be Facebook spam messages, but the popularity of this blog post over years tells me that many of you still struggle with the issue of unwanted messages.

If you are one of the more than 1.9 billion people who visit Facebook every day, you have hopefully already figured out a way to deal with filtering out the many potential notifications and bothersome messages–much of it considered Facebook spam messages–that you could be receiving.

How to Stop Facebook from Sending You Unwanted Emails

Where do you even begin to manage all of this? It can be confusing, but your journey to avoid unwanted messages should be as follows. Note that I am showing you screenshots from the desktop version, and since Facebook was originally developed for desktop, I highly recommend you manage things here.

1. From the home screen, tap on your avatar in the top right hand corner, which should reveal the screen below:

Facebook personal profile menu settings

2. Clicking on “Settings & privacy” will take you to this next screen below:

Facebook General profile settings & privacy

3. From there, you will want to click on “Settings,” which will open up the following panel on the left hand side and your full screen should look as follows:

Facebook profile settings

4. Click on “Notifications” and then you will get choose the following as pictured below for each type of Facebook notification:

  • Push notification on your browser
  • Email
  • SMS text sent to your smartphone where you have the Facebook App installed

Here is what it looks like for the first type of notification: “Comments”:

Facebook profile notifications settings

5. Going down the list, you should choose for each activity what notifications you want to receive and where you want to receive them.

Eliminating email notifications will remove any potential for Facebook spam messages or bulk messages coming directly from Facebook without eliminating attractive messages from people you know and trust. Here is a full list of the types of messages you can decide to opt out of:

  • Comments
  • Tags
  • Reminders
  • More Activity About You
  • Updates from Friends
  • Friend Requests
  • People You May Know
  • Birthdays
  • Groups
  • Video
  • Events
  • Stages
  • Pages You Manage
  • Pages You Follow
  • Marketplace
  • Fundraisers and Crises
  • Voting Reminders
  • Article
  • Other Notifications

6. Just when you think you are done, there is still one more important setting to manage.

If you continue to scroll down to the bottom of this screen the following “How You Get Notifications” appears:

Facebook profile how you get notifications settings

It is critical, if you believe you are receiving Facebook spam messages, to simply set the email frequency to “Required notifications” to prevent Facebook from sending you messages that are “Suggested” by them but potentially considered spam by you! This can reduce receiving any anonymous email messages, or FB spam messages that have been plaguing you in your inbox and notifications. 

How to Stop Facebook Spam Messages from Appearing in Your Facebook Messenger

These days, Facebook Messenger has become another important app that we use as almost a second inbox. While the above can help us reduce emails from Facebook, we still might be getting way more message requests and chats in our message inbox than we need. If you fall into this category, please keep reading!

1. Please go back to Step 3. above and instead of clicking on “Notifications,” please click on the “Privacy” menu option just above it.

You should then see the following:

Facebook profile Privacy Settings and Tools

2. While there is a lot of important privacy information you should review here, for the purpose of controlling our Facebook Messenger chats, please scroll down to the bottom two areas of this screen as pictured below, where you should be able to see the “How people can find and contact you” and “How you get message requests” screens.

As I will explain below, these two sections are closely related:

How people can find and contact you on Facebook

3. In the “How can people find and contact you,” you will need to make sure whether you want to allow people who know your email address and/or phone number to be able to look you up and therefore message you on Facebook.

While you obviously want your close friends and family to be able to find you, the ease with which others can find your email address (do you ever get any spam? I thought so!) and/or phone number (robocalls anyone?) means you are leaving yourself open to getting lots of unfiltered messages. This will help you get one step closer to receiving primarily filtered messages.

4. Fortunately, Facebook has given you the option, for each type of message, to decide whether you want the message to go into your Facebook Messenger chat, Message requests folder, or not receive them all.

Pictured below is an example of what the screen looks like for the “Potential Connections” option:

how you get Facebook message requests from potential connections

Doing the above two things should give you full control over message delivery from Facebook both in email and in your Facebook Messenger.

Are you still receiving Facebook spam messages?

How to Stop Other Spam Messages from Facebook

If, despite the above, you are still receiving iffy messages from Facebook, they are probably not from Facebook at all, but are what we call phishing attacks, messages which tell you you need to log in to Facebook to see something or fix a problem, together with a big log in button or clickable links. Sometimes you might receive these in direct messages on other social networks together with suspicious links.

Whatever you do do not click on the button or external link! If there is an issue with your Facebook account, just go to and log in there to confirm. If you can log in there, there is nothing wrong with your account and you will not have clicked on any infected links!

Other Facebook Scams You Should Be Aware Of

Receiving spam messages that look like they come from Facebook but don’t is a type of Facebook scam. You should be aware that there are always lots of these floating around, so here are 3 sample scams to learn about to better understand how to avoid these in the future!

Cloned Account Scams

Cloned account scams are becoming increasingly common. With a name that only slightly differs from the original account and the same profile photo, information, and content, receiving friend requests in your message inbox, or even private message requests from these people is often a scam designed to get money, information, or resources. Messages from people should always be double checked and vetted prior to responding. 

Giveaway Scams

Giveaway scams are also common. In these, a scam message will likely come from an account that seems legitimate and well-established–i.e. a current profile photo, a fully-fleshed out bio, and more–with a message about having won a prize or cash. Suspicious messages like these may initially elicit an excited response, but remember that you cannot win a prize you have not entered to win, yourself, and you should always verify safety and accuracy when you receive requests from people to give out personal information, or any time you receive an unusual message. 

Fundraiser Scams

False fundraisers are also common scams. These typically come in the form of a direct message asking for money. They are usually designed to be exciting messages, and can be from a friend’s account, or the account of a business. Whether on a mobile device or your laptop or desktop computer, these messages are usually default messages without any clear, personalized information that a friend or trusted business would know. Whether it is a polite message, requesting assistance, or a more emphatic message, be wary of any email message that comes in unsolicited. 


It’s impossible to keep spam completely out of our inboxes, but Facebook has improved how we can manage what type of communication we want to receive. With that in mind, after reading this, hopefully you will stop receiving Facebook spam messages with any malicious links or fake links. Sorry that I can’t help you reduce your spam outside of that, but you can use this wonderful tool that I use called Sanebox (click here for.a free 14-day trial) to help manage spam better!

Have you been receiving similar Facebook spam messages?

Have you received other types of messages in which you can’t stop them from being sent to you?

Please comment below and I will try my best to help you!

And if you’re looking for more Facebook advice, check out these other posts from my blog:

Hero photo by NeONBRAND on Unsplash

Facebook Spam Messages FAQs

Where are spam messages on Facebook?

Spam messages are located under message requests in messenger. Facebook automatically filters spam messages which is why it is quite hard to locate. Once you have located the Message Requests in messenger, scroll down to the bottom page and you will find a small link that says, See Spam.

What does spam messages mean on Facebook?

Spam messages are messages sent to you by a non-friend Facebook user. As a way of securing your account, Facebook automatically assumes them as spam. It may include bulk messages and messages with excessive links. If you happen to receive one of those, it will be automatically placed under filtered messages.

How do I check my spam messages on messenger?

To check your spam messages on messenger, open the main message inbox in either the messenger app or in desktop. Then click the gear icon on the top left corner to view Message Requests. You will then see the list of message requests that you have. Scroll down to the bottom of the list and click the small link that says, See Spam.

How do I stop spam messages on Facebook?

You can easily stop spam messages by tweaking your settings. First, log in to your account and click on the menu arrow in the top right-hand corner to go to Privacy Settings. Look for the How You Connect settings then hit the edit settings link next to it. You can then adjust the privacy level you want based on who can look you up using your name, send you friend requests, and messages.

Can you get a virus just by opening a Facebook message?

Opening a Facebook message does not automatically give you a virus. Your concern should be the content of the message. Does it contain a random file that is asking you to download it? Or suspicious links and images? If yes, the chance of getting a virus is higher. But worry less because Facebook is doing good in filtering suspicious links and binary files in Messenger.

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