Facebook Profile Hacker Warning

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Warning of Facebook Profile Hacks

Facebook Profile Hackers
Netlore Archive: Rumor warns of a 'new' Facebook security threat, namely hackers stealing profile pictures to create fake accounts and impersonate other members.. Via Facebook

You may receive a warning from friends that hackers can clone Facebook profiles. They then send friend requests to the existing friends of the original account, asking to be added. This gives the hacker further access to new victims. The originally circulated posting asks you to repost the message to spread the word.

  • Description: Viral rumor
  • Circulating since: Dec. 2012
  • Status: Basically true. These hacks happen and can be reported to Facebook to remove the cloned accounts. You should be cautious in accepting any friend requests from people who should already by on your friend list.

Example:

Please be careful: some hackers have found something new. They take your profile picture and your name and create a new FB account. Then they ask your friends to add them. Your friends think it is you, so they accept. From that moment on they can say and post whatever they want under your name. Please DO NOT accept a second friendship request from me. Copy this on your wall to keep others informed.

While it probably doesn't hurt to warn your friends about this hack, it would be more useful to include information on how to report and remove any cloned accounts.

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Hackers Can Clone Your Facebook Profile

Facebook profile hacking and cloning can pose a real security threat to users. There's nothing particularly new about hackers using profile pictures and public information copied from real Facebook accounts to create phony ones.

How a Cloned Profile Is Used by Hackers

If you accept a friend request from a cloned account, the hacker now has access to the information and postings that you reserve only for friends to see. That may include information you do not make publicly available. They can copy photos that you chose to keep between you and your friends. They can then create more cloned accounts and send friend requests to your friends.

The hacker might also send you messages from the cloned account, which may simply be spam. Your grandmother's cloned account might start sending you porn photos, for example, and the hacker profits from that in some way.

The hacker may attempt to impersonate the original profile to draw you into a confidence scheme or to lure you into other activities of their choosing.

Be Prudent When Accepting Friend Requests

Generally speaking, it's wise to be discriminating about accepting friend requests on Facebook. Don't be hasty. When you receive a request, examine that person's profile for signs they may not be who they say they are. If you're not sure, contact them directly to make sure they sent the request before accepting.

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How to Report a Cloned Facebook Profile

Impersonating Facebook members is illegal in some states and a violation of the Facebook Terms of Service. If you have reason to believe someone has created a fake account to impersonate you or another member, you should report it immediately.

To report a fake account impersonating a friend, click on the name of the account and go to their profile page. Often, a recently cloned account shows very little activity in the way of posts, photos, and other things you would expect to see. Look at the cover photo area for the the three dots (...) and select it to open a menu. Select "Report" and you'll get a menu to ask whether you want to want to report the profile.

You can report a fake account that's pretending to be you. First, you'll need to find the offending profile, either getting the link from a friend who got the request or by searching for your name to find the clone. The process is then similar, selecting the three dots on the profile photo and selecting Report.

Stopping Fake Accounts

When you receive a fake friend request, report it immediately. That will remove it as soon as possible before other friends accept it and keep the chain going.