Cloned Facebook Accounts - Profile Cloning

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.

Cloned Facebook Accounts - Profile Cloning

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 cybercriminals 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.

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Comments (Total: 24)

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October 9, 2018 at 5:29 AM by
Cloned Facebook Accounts - Profile Cloning

Received via email:

"Third and last thing is the number of messages I am getting on Facebook that ask me to forward their message to all my friends, which there are several different versions,

Heads-up! Almost every account is being cloned. Your picture and your name are used to create a new facebook account (they don't need your password to do this this). They want your friends to add them to their Facebook account. Your friends will think that it's you and accept your request. From that point on they can write what they want under your name. I have NO plans to open a new account. Please DO NOT accept a 2nd friend request from "me". please forward to all your contacts

Please pass it on!

Hi...I actually got another friend request from you which I ignored so you may want to check your account. Hold your finger on the message until the forward button appears...then hit forward and all the people you want to forward too...I had to do the people individually. PLEASE DO NOT ACCEPT A NEW friendship FROM ME AT THIS TIME.

Heads-up! It appears that many accounts are being cloned. Your picture and your name may be used to create a new facebook account (they don't need your password to do this). They want your friends to add them to their Facebook account. Your friends will think that it's you and accept your request. From that point on they can write what they want under your name.

I have NO plans to open a new account. Please DO NOT accept a 2nd friend request from "me". please forward to all your contacts"


February 10, 2017 at 11:38 AM by
Cloned Facebook Accounts - Profile Cloning
an anonymous user from: Wilkesboro, North Carolina, United States

There have been several instances where I have been notified 1st by an FBI agent giving away US grant money & all I have to do is pay shipping & handling. The thing is they used people in my contact list whom I was able to call & find out it was fraud. There is a fellow Mickey Wayne Fitzpatrick Jr who also has been harassed on Facebook & later got my phone number & somehow started changing things. I get my cellphone from my daughters' company & she is the savvy person. I'm just learning to use the cellphone. Mickey laughs at me b/c I'm not techno savvy. I have told him to get away from me on fb & stop messing with my phone, but he doesn't listen. So I just pray. If you can help please do.


February 10, 2017 at 11:51 AM by
Cloned Facebook Accounts - Profile Cloning

Let your daughter show you how to block unscrupulous Facebook users who are harassing you, and report them to Facebook.


February 7, 2017 at 10:05 PM by
Cloned Facebook Accounts - Profile Cloning
an anonymous user from: Los Angeles, California, United States

Why doesn't FB have a 1800 number?


February 2, 2017 at 4:05 PM by
Cloned Facebook Accounts - Profile Cloning
an anonymous user from: St Louis, Missouri, United States

What about all the posts that tell you to copy and paste instead of sharing? What would the reason be for doing this? Or is it another way to scam?


February 2, 2017 at 7:16 PM by
Cloned Facebook Accounts - Profile Cloning

Most of them are hoaxes or fake-news created by pranksters to create mischief or cause public panic.


September 29, 2016 at 9:36 AM by
Cloned Facebook Accounts - Profile Cloning
an anonymous user from: Phoenix, Arizona, United States

What a fool I am. Just thought I was helping and being Christ like. Going to check the activity log right now and start trying to fix this. Already have some of the know scams on Facebook, the surgery kid. Same picture an all. Thanks. And thanks to my dear friend who alerted me. I will surely pass it on.


September 7, 2016 at 9:57 PM by
Cloned Facebook Accounts - Profile Cloning
an anonymous user from: Marietta, Georgia, United States

Thanks for info on cloning. This is happy to me right now . Didn't know how to stop it!


August 12, 2016 at 2:23 AM by
Cloned Facebook Accounts - Profile Cloning
an anonymous user from: Melbourne, Victoria, Australia

Did the other account get closed down as people get requests from me?


July 1, 2016 at 9:15 AM by
Cloned Facebook Accounts - Profile Cloning

Received via email:

"The PowerBall scammers contacted me using the account of one of my friends claiming she was contacting me and had already won. Seems they are getting more deceptive! I was led to believe it was my friend messaging me sharing she won and my name was on the list with her. She stated she already received her money and I should to. I then trusted the program and sent my name address, email etc to the contact for my prize. Then I was asked to send money. I double checked my friends page and found 2 FB pages for her one set up just days before my message from her! Can you add that they are hacking FB accounts and sending fake messages posing as our already known friends?!"


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Online Threat Alerts Security Tips

Pay the safest way

Credit cards are the safest way to pay for online purchases because you can dispute the charges if you never get the goods or services or if the offer was misrepresented. Federal law limits your liability to $50 if someone makes unauthorized charges to your account, and most credit card issuers will remove them completely if you report the problem promptly.

Guard your personal information

In any transaction you conduct, make sure to check with your state or local consumer protection agency and the Better Business Bureau (BBB) to see if the seller, charity, company, or organization is credible. Be especially wary if the entity is unfamiliar to you. Always call the number found on a website’s contact information to make sure the number legitimately belongs to the entity you are dealing with.

Be careful of the information you share

Never give out your codes, passwords or personal information, unless you are sure of who you're dealing with

Know who you’re dealing with

Crooks pretending to be from companies you do business with may call or send an email, claiming they need to verify your personal information. Don’t provide your credit card or bank account number unless you are actually paying for something and know who you are sending payment to. Your social security number should not be necessary unless you are applying for credit. Be especially suspicious if someone claiming to be from a company with whom you have an account asks for information that the business already has.

Check your accounts

Regularly check your account transactions and report any suspicious or unauthorised transactions.

Don’t believe promises of easy money

If someone claims that you can earn money with little or no work, get a loan or credit card even if you have bad credit, or make money on an investment with little or no risk, it’s probably a scam. Oftentimes, offers that seem too good to be true, actually are too good to be true.

Do not open email from people you don’t know

If you are unsure whether an email you received is legitimate, try contacting the sender directly via other means. Do not click on any links in an email unless you are sure it is safe.

Think before you click

If an email or text message looks suspicious, don’t open any attachments or click on the links.

Verify urgent requests or unsolicited emails, messages or phone calls before you respond

If you receive a message or a phone call asking for immediate action and don't know the sender, it could be a phishing message.

Be careful with links and new website addresses

Malicious website addresses may appear almost identical to legitimate sites. Scammers often use a slight variation in spelling or logo to lure you. Malicious links can also come from friends whose email has unknowingly been compromised, so be careful.

Secure your personal information

Before providing any personal information, such as your date of birth, Social Security number, account numbers, and passwords, be sure the website is secure.

Stay informed on the latest cyber threats

Keep yourself up to date on current scams by visiting this website daily.

Use Strong Passwords

Strong passwords are critical to online security.

Keep your software up to date and maintain preventative software programs

Keep all of your software applications up to date on your computers and mobile devices. Install software that provides antivirus, firewall, and email filter services.

Update the operating systems on your electronic devices

Make sure your operating systems (OSs) and applications are up to date on all of your electronic devices. Older and unpatched versions of OSs and software are the target of many hacks. Read the CISA security tip on Understanding Patches and Software Updates for more information.

What if You Got Scammed?

Stop Contact With The Scammer

Hang up the phone. Do not reply to emails, messages, or letters that the scammer sends. Do not make any more payments to the scammer. Beware of additional scammers who may contact you claiming they can help you get your lost money back.

Secure Your Finances

  • Report potentially compromised bank account, credit or debit card information to your financial institution(s) immediately. They may be able to cancel or reverse fraudulent transactions.
  • Notify the three major credit bureaus. They can add a fraud alert to warn potential credit grantors that you may be a victim of identity theft. You may also want to consider placing a free security freeze on your credit report. Doing so prevents lenders and others from accessing your credit report entirely, which will prevent them from extending credit:

Check Your Computer

If your computer was accessed or otherwise affected by a scam, check to make sure that your anti-virus is up-to-date and running and that your system is free of malware and keylogging software. You may also need to seek the help of a computer repair company. Consider utilizing the Better Business Bureau’s website to find a reputable company.

Change Your Account Passwords

Update your bank, credit card, social media, and email account passwords to try to limit further unauthorized access. Make sure to choose strong passwords when changing account passwords.

Report The Scam

Reporting helps protect others. While agencies can’t always track down perpetrators of crimes against scammers, they can utilize the information gathered to record patterns of abuse which may lead to action being taken against a company or industry.

Report your issue to the following agencies based on the nature of the scam:

  • Local Law Enforcement: Consumers are encouraged to report scams to their local police department or sheriff’s office, especially if you lost money or property or had your identity compromised.
  • Federal Trade Commission: Contact the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) at 1-877-FTC-HELP (1-877-382-4357) or use the Online Complaint Assistant to report various types of fraud, including counterfeit checks, lottery or sweepstakes scams, and more.
  • If someone is using your personal information, like your Social Security, credit card, or bank account number, to open new accounts, make purchases, or get a tax refund, report it at This federal government site will also help you create your Identity Theft Report and a personal recovery plan based on your situation. Questions can be directed to 877-ID THEFT.

How To Recognize a Phishing Scam

Scammers use email or text messages to try to steal your passwords, account numbers, or Social Security numbers. If they get that information, they could get access to your email, bank, or other accounts. Or they could sell your information to other scammers. Scammers launch thousands of phishing attacks like these every day — and they’re often successful.

Scammers often update their tactics to keep up with the latest news or trends, but here are some common tactics used in phishing emails or text messages:

Phishing emails and text messages often tell a story to trick you into clicking on a link or opening an attachment. You might get an unexpected email or text message that looks like it’s from a company you know or trust, like a bank or a credit card or utility company. Or maybe it’s from an online payment website or app. The message could be from a scammer, who might

  • say they’ve noticed some suspicious activity or log-in attempts — they haven’t
  • claim there’s a problem with your account or your payment information — there isn’t
  • say you need to confirm some personal or financial information — you don’t
  • include an invoice you don’t recognize — it’s fake
  • want you to click on a link to make a payment — but the link has malware
  • say you’re eligible to register for a government refund — it’s a scam
  • offer a coupon for free stuff — it’s not real

About Online Threat Alerts (OTA)

Online Threat Alerts or OTA is an anti-cybercrime community that started in 2012. OTA alerts the public to cyber crimes and other web threats.

By alerting the public, we have prevented a lot of online users from getting scammed or becoming victims of cybercrimes.

With the ever-increasing number of people going online, it important to have a community like OTA that continuously alerts or protects those same people from cyber-criminals, scammers and hackers, who are every day finding new ways of carrying out their malicious activities.

Online users can help by reporting suspicious or malicious messages or websites to OTA. And, if they want to determine if a message or website is a threat or scam, they can use OTA's search engine to search for the website or parts of the message for information.

Help maintain Online Threat Alerts (OTA).

Cloned Facebook Accounts - Profile Cloning