Rumours are spreading across social media warning readers that “account are being hacked”. The warning goes on to claim someone will take your profile picture and create a new Facebook account with it to fool your friends.
Facebook is often bustling with various rumours warning readers of various perceived tactics that cyber-criminals are using to compromise your social media accounts, and these are the latest…
Accounts are being hacked. Someone will take your profile picture, your name, and then create a new facebook account. Then they ask your friends to add. Your friends think it’s you and accept. From that moment, they can write whatever they want under your name. Please DO NOT accept a 2nd invitation from me. Copy this on your wall so your friends can see and be warned.
HEADS UP!!!! Almost all of the FB accounts are being hacked now. Your profile picture and your name are being used to create a new Facebook account and then they won’t your friends to add them. From this moment the pirates can write what they want under your name!!!! I want you to know I have no plans to open a new account so plz do not agree to a 2nd invitation from ME !!!! Copy this message on your wall so that all your friends will be warned!!!!!! Do not share copy\ paste
In fairness to the original author of this warning, he (or she) is describing a genuine threat, but some of the terminology is a little mixed up and rather vague, meaning there is a good chance that this aspiring yet flawed warning is going to end up confusing more people than it will help.
So what is the warning (which actually dates back to at least 2013) attempting to describe?
It’s something called Facebook cloning, and we’ve discussed and described it on this site before. In fact you can read about it here. Despite the claims made in the warnings above, this is NOT happening to all or most Facebook accounts.
Facebook cloning simply involves a scammer creating a brand new Facebook account with YOUR name and profile pic. Since both are public, there is little you can do to stop them. Since this account will have both your name and your picture, upon a cursory glance it could appear to be your account. I.e. YOU!
The scammer than looks at your friends list and starts sending out friend requests using this “clone” account. The hope is that a number of your friends will think it is you re-adding them on Facebook, for some reason (perhaps they will think you lost control of your original account) and will thus accept the request. Once the scammer has managed to add some of your friends they will try and trick them with any number of different scams.
Now, despite the assertion in the above warning, this isn’t really hacking. No one has compromised your Facebook account, they’ve just created a duplicate of it. There is little reason to change your password, and neither you nor your computer has been ‘hacked’.
To prevent you from being the target of these Facebook cloning scams, we recommend hiding your friends list (learn how to do that here.) In doing this, the criminal won’t know who to send friend requests to, thus removing their reason to clone your account.
And if someone does clone your account, warn your friends and also get them to report the offending cloned account – use the option that says “this account is impersonating me.”
Hopefully Facebook will then remove the account.
As for the warning, as we said above, it’s a little confused. If you want to warn your friends about this very real threat, we recommend sharing a good article about it. It just so happens we have one here!