Beware of Cloned Facebook Accounts - Profile Cloning
February 8, 2013
January 29, 2013
Profile Cloning is using an existing users'publicly shared information (profile picture, photos, name) to clone those users' profiles or accounts, in an attempt to trick those users' friends into accepting bogus friend requests from the cloned accounts. In other words, a scammer or hacker uses Facebook users' profile pictures, names and other information to create duplicate profiles or accounts. The scammer or hacker will then send friend requests to all of the Facebook users' friends, asking to be added as a friend from the cloned Facebook accounts.
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When those users' friends see the requests, they will accept them because they know the name and photo of the requesters. Once the bogus requests are accepted, the scammer can post malicious links or content which will appear as if it came from the users whose profiles or accounts were duplicated or cloned.
The malicious links or content will take potential victims to websites that contain Trojan horse, spyware and other malware, which will infect their computers and be used by the cyber criminals to steal their personal and financial information. The malicious links may also take potential victims to phishing websites that will scam them, by tricking them into sending their personal information, financial information, online account information and money.
If you know that you have already accepted someone as your friend and, you receive a second request to add that same friend, it might be that your friend’s account was cloned. Therefore, before accepting any friend request, please ensure that you thoroughly check the requester’s information to determine who that person really is. Try sending a private message to the requester asking questions that only that friend would know.
How to Tell if Your Facebook Account Has Been Cloned
Search for your profile name (the full name that you are using on Facebook), and click the "People" tab. If you see multiple Facebook accounts with your name and profile pictures of yourself, then you know that your account has been cloned, or you have been a victim of Profile Cloning.
To report a cloned Facebook account, please click here for instructions.
Please share with us what you know or ask a question about this article, by leaving a comment below. And, please report malicious, phishing or scam email messages, social media posts and websites to us using this email address: firstname.lastname@example.org .
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