You’re perusing Facebook. You read an article. You like a picture of your friend’s cat. You scroll a little while longer when, suddenly, you’re bombarded with friends telling you that you’ve been hacked. They send you a picture of the profile that is … well, you. It’s your name and face in the profile picture anyway. It must be a fake profile!
Oh no! How could this have happened?
Here is the good news: you have not been hacked.
Your password is still secure. Someone fishing for personal information will steal your profile picture, take your cover photo, and create a brand new Facebook account with your name. This person is simply pretending to be you in a fake profile.
This fake person will go through your friends’ list, and send a friend request to all of your friends. From there, this fake profile will often start messaging your friends. They will strike up a conversation. They may ask for money, or they may ask for other private information. Your friends may think it’s you.
A while back, I accepted a friend request from a church friend. I was already friends with that person. Within minutes, the fake profile started messaging me. I realized what was happening, so I decided to have a little fun. I started asking questions like “How is Bob doing today?” and “Did you enjoy the church lunch yesterday?”
The fake friend simply responded, “He’s fine” and “Yes.” I immediately responded with “There is no Bob, and there was no lunch yesterday. You’re a fake, and I’ve reported you.” About an hour later, the profile was removed.
This happened to my dad just the other day, and it only took a few minutes to confirm the profile was fake.
The Bible tells us that we are fearfully and wonderfully made. We are unique. That means the REAL YOU is the only YOU the world needs.
If you or a friend are multiplying on Facebook, there are a few things you can do:
1) Your friends can report the fake profile.
2) You can report the fake profile.
3) Post to your personal timeline. Let your friends know to report the profile and to refuse the friend request if it comes to them.
Reporting a profile as a fake is very easy. If you are on a laptop or desktop, click on the profile and you will see a box with three dots in it (…). Click this, and there will be an option to “Give Feedback or Report the Profile.” From there, you have a few options – click the one that states “Pretending to Be Someone.”
You can do the same thing on a phone. When you open Facebook, and click on the profile, you can tap the circle with the (…) and follow the same steps above.
Facebook will usually respond with a message saying they have received your complaint and are reviewing the information. Facebook also offers info on reporting profiles here.
How can you prevent this from happening again?
That’s an easy one. If the fake person can’t see your friends list, then they can’t friend them. So, go to your settings, click on Privacy, and change who can view your friends list to “Friends” or “Only Me.”
This is a simple yet annoying scam. Thankfully the solution is simple as well. After reading this post, you’ll be able to help your friends out, especially if they think they’ve been hacked.
Has this happened to you or a friend before? Was it resolved quickly?