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Facebook Scams


Facebook Impersonating

Scammers may choose to impersonate you on Facebook so they can scam money out of your unsuspecting friends, friends of your friends, Family, etc. They simply set up a new Facebook account, they use your name, and your photo (which they grabbed from your profile), and maybe even some of the things you've posted recently to your timeline (if you have unthinkingly left all of that stuff visible to the public). The profile they create looks like the "real" you, but it's just a fake impersonation account. At first glance no one would see a difference unless they look deeper. Does the profiles have more than one friend? When was it established? Then they go to your list of friends (if you unthinkingly left that list visible to the public, too) and they start putting in Friend Requests from the fake account to all your friends. Many of your friends will unsuspectingly accept the Friend Request, because they think it's the real you, and that you must have just set up a new account for some reason. At that point, the scammer with the fake version of you can easily reach out to make more connections by putting in Friend Requests to all the friends of your friends---and it looks legit because Facebook now tells them that the first people who were tricked are your "mutual friends." Once the scammer has tricked a bunch of people into thinking it's the real you, then they start using private messages to try to suck some of those people into some kind of scam, with any of the usual garbage: "I'm out of the country and lost my wallet, please wire me some money" or other similar stuff. And some of the people who have been tricked into believing this is the real you will unthinkingly send money. I know what you're saying... "No one would be that stupid to send money like that" but enough people fall for it to make it worth the scammer's time to do this kind of stuff to hurt people instead of getting a real job that helps people instead. Therefore, it is so important to lock down the security on your Facebook account and keep things as private as you can on Facebook.

I recently had a friend request from someone I was already friends with and only accepted it so I could report the person. Sometime these scammers are smart and will actually block the person they are impersonating so they can’t report them. In these cases you will have to reach out to a friend to report on your behalf.

Now this is not to be confused with being hacked. These scammers don’t have control of your Facebook account, they have created an entire new account using your public information on your current profile, simply by coping and pasting aka Account Cloning.

Now what?

The first thing you can do is post on your Timeline, warning all your friends not to accept any friend requests that appear to be from you. They should report the friend requests as unwanted, which may get the scammer blocked from sending more requests. You should also warn your friends not to believe any messages which appear to be from you, telling them they have won some lottery or other prize/grant. This is one of the scams these clones run, called the Advance Fee Fraud. Repost the warnings a few times over the next few days in case people miss them. You may also wish to send some close friends and relatives personal messages warning them, as not all your friends see all your posts in their feed. Facebook doesn't put everything in the feed.

Also go through your privacy settings. Your friend list should NOT be public, as scammers will use it to target your friends. Wherever possible, you should also make your profile pictures private.

Instructions to report:

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