Many of my facebook friends have posted that their accounts have been cloned and their friends have received ‘friend’ requests from ‘them’ recently. Has this happened to you?
Facebook profile cloning is a form of identity theft. A replica of your facebook profile is made – it looks exactly like your real one. The scary thing is that they have access to your friends and can communicate with them as if they are you. Everything from commenting on your friend’s pictures, tagging them etc.
How did this happen? These dishonest characters (a more diplomatic term) firstly request you as a friend. Once accepted by you, they gain access to all your information and start replicating it to a new facebook profile. It is pretty simple, to download your images and add them to a new account, including copying and pasting over all your information like where you work, relationship status etc.
It would be difficult for a friend of your to tell the difference really because the posts look the same, the images look the same and it is all of your information – a carbon copy.
This is the nasty bit. This new you, can go and report/block your profile and family and close friends. Which means you will not even know that it exists nor will those close to you.
What does this allow them to do? Well, anything from asking for sponsorship, advertising and even money.
What can you do about it?
- Accept friend requests from people you know.
- Do a clean up on your account of people you do not know.
- Facebook privacy settings should be amended so that only your friends can see your posts.
- Select to limit your past posts.
- Check that your photo albums are set to only your friends being able to see them.
- Change your profile pic and cover image regularly.
- Like my friends have done, write a post to inform your friends not to accept any new friends requests from ‘you’
- If your friend has received a request from ‘you’, they should let you know so that you can report it to Facebook’s help centre.
Has this happened to you? Please share this with your network. The more people are aware of this the less damage there will be for your friends to deal with, should it happen to them.
People sure do have a lot of time on their hands to go about all of this! So, if you get a request from me for money because I am stranded on some island or without fuel along the road, do not send me money. Thank you.