Facebook Scam Involving Duplicate Profiles
So there is a Facebook scam going on and I fell for it yesterday. Apparently scammers are taking your name, information, and profile picture and creating a new profile.
Then they go and ask to be friends with your friends and most of the time your friends will accept because they think you accidentally deleted them or they just see your face and click accept without thinking.
That's what I did yesterday, I received a friend request from a business acquaintance so I accepted. Not long after I received a private message and I was thinking this person would never PM me. Then I started thinking that I was already FB friends with this person. So I went in and realized that it wasn't him and I immediately deleted the duplicate from my friends. I just hope that damage isn't already done.
Apparently this has been going on for awhile and it is now surfacing in our area.
According to Snopes.com:
It is true in a general sense that some scammers have engaged in Facebook cloning, a process in which the scammer creates a new Facebook account using a profile picture and similar name taken from an existing user, then sends out friend requests which appear to originate from that user. (The requests often claim the sender has just set up a new Facebook account or was locked out of his previous account.) The end purpose of such scams varies: it may be to send Facebook users links to malicious websites that propagate malware, to perpetrate phishing schemes, or to collect personal information from users that can be used for identity theft.
In general, Facebook users should always be cautious with friend requests: attempt to verify their validity before accepting them, be wary of additional requests from persons you have already befriended, and take care about what information you share with friends on Facebook.
This whole thing is just another way scammers can try to scam money out of your family. It's also a way for them to spam your friends with links.
Just be cautious, and hopefully if your friends see a scam happening with your profile they will give you a heads up. If you do notice that your or your friend's Facebook profile has been duplicated, you can report it to Facebook. Click here for the instructions.