Warnings About Facebook Cloning Scams-Truth!

Warnings About Facebook Cloning Scams-Truth!

Summary of eRumor:
Warnings about Facebook cloning, in which scammers use your name and photo to create an identical Facebook account in order to scam your friends and family, have gone viral.
The Truth:
Threats about Facebook cloning are accurate, but the scam has been around for years and there didn’t appear to be a heightened risk for it happening when this warning went viral.
The website Facecrooks, which publishes information about scams targeting Facebook users, first reported about Facebook cloning scams in 2012. The article described the scam like this:

The most common scenario is someone copies the name, profile picture and other available photos of their intended victim. The next thing they do is block the person they are impersonating and send friend requests to everyone on the victim’s friends list. This is done to infiltrate their social network. Once this part of the mission is complete, the scammer has a variety of options at their disposal.

In 2014, a sheriff’s department in Kentucky issued an official alert about a Facebook cloning scam that had victimized five people in the county:

According to Sheriff Johnny Bivens, one such occurrence recently included the page of April Justice. A cloned page appeared on Facebook and began sending messages to friends of the real Justice.

“She has been sick for a while and in the hospital,” Bivens said. “Someone was sending messages from a page exactly like hers saying times were tough for the family and asking to borrow money.”

Bivens said from the research he has done on the cloned pages, it does not look like someone locally is doing it.

“It doesn’t look like it’s someone here,” he said. “But, it is happening to people in our county.”

CBS Boston had a similar report about Facebook cloning scams targeting the area back in 2014 as well.
So, scammers can use Facebook cloning to access information from your friends and family that can be used to scam them out of money, as was the case in Tennessee.. Scammers can also use Facebook cloning to spread spam across trusted friend networks, or to simply bully their victims.
There are a number of steps you can take to protect yourself from Facebook cloning scams. First, make your friends list private so that only you can see it following these steps from Facebook. Second, don’t accept friend requests from people you don’t, and don’t accept friend requests from people who you’re already friends with.
Also, alert friends or family members who suddenly try to re-friend you, and report any cloning scams to Facebook by following steps listed here.