Spoofed Facebook Accounts

March 22, 2016

 

The latest Facebook scam takes advantage of users' trust in their friends. Scammers are making duplicate accounts, and then sending friend requests to friends of the original Facebook account holder. For example, say you have a friend named Jane Smith, and you've been friends with her on Facebook for several years. Suddenly, "Jane Smith" (complete with a profile photo you recognize) sends you a new Facebook friend request. What's going on here? 

Scammers are betting that you'll accept their request, thinking, "Oh, Jane must have accidentally unfriended me, and is now refriending," or, "Maybe she was off Facebook for a while and has recently rejoined." Unfortunately, it's likelier that neither of these scenarios is true. What's really happening is that someone has duplicated Jane's account in order to friend her friends and gather their personal information or send them spam. 

If you've already been fooled by this scam, immediately unfriend the fake account. You can also report the offense to Facebook

To avoid falling prey to this con in the first place, always check with friends who send you seemingly duplicated requests, using a separate method (such as texting or email) to see if their request is legitimate. Also, inform your other Facebook friends because it's likely you and Jane Smith have some friends in common that the scammer will also try to fool. Finally, to ensure your account doesn't get copied, change your password and adjust privacy settings to something other than Facebook's default "public" view.

 

©2016 Cornerstone Publishing Group Inc.

Source: Safeguarding Our Customers

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