I’ve seen an increase recently in the number of fake Facebook accounts out there. Some of them are so easy to spot where someone asks to connect and you have no idea who they are and there are flaws in the construction of the account but what about if it was apparently someone you knew? Would you think twice in connecting?
People change details occasionally and want to create a duplicate Facebook account – they may have lost login details – may want to start from scratch or maybe want to build a business presence and are not quite sure how to do this via a fan page
This recently happened to me a networking contact and someone I would consider to be a friend – the profile was IDENTICAL to the one I was connected to I did click on the ‘accept’ button almost instinctively but then went a little deeper. Their old account was still there but someone had spent an awfully long time copying the profile in detail. I informed the person concerned and she already knew and had informed Facebook but given the size of the organization it takes time for their teams to act.
So – why would anyone take time to copy your profile? In its base form it’s a type of Identity theft.
Once connected the copycat account holders data mine the accounts they have friended under the bogus profile. Even if you have your privacy and sharing options set to ‘Friends Only,’ you are still open to risk if you accidentally accept a duplicate friend request.
They gather enough information and target close friends and family members with something called the ‘Grandma Scam.’ The scammer contacts people close to the victim and tells them that they are in trouble of some kind, usually stranded, arrested or in some other legal trouble, etc. This is accompanied by an urgent plea to send money ASAP via some kind of transfer like Western Union.
They can also spam scam links to everyone on their friends list. This is a common social engineering tactic used by online fraudsters. The goal is to use the trust of the victim’s social circle to make the scam more believable. We have seen scam messages promoting diet pills, free gift cards and pleas directing people to check out photos and videos.
Unknown con artists aren’t the only ones creating duplicate profiles and pages. Bullies often create fake profiles with the intention of humiliating or harassing their intended victim. If this happens to you, then we encourage you to report the incident to Facebook and contact your local law enforcement authorities. There are laws against online harassment and bullying.
If you are worried about security we are happy to help here at Dauben Group.
Contact us here give us a call on 01827 437095.