Well, of course you do. Are you sure? Right yeah, hmm...
I've had several friends, whom I know personally, have their Facebook identity cloned recently. Same profile picture too. This means that I received an invitation to accept them as a friend again. I can remember as soon as I received the very first clone request, several years ago, that it just didn't feel right to me. So I have never, ever accepted a second friend request without first reaching out to said friend via messaging, email, or even a phone call to verify the request. Why? Well, it just didn't feel right. It always gives me the heebie jeebies, creepy gut feeling.
Turns out that is a very good thing. Accepting a cloned request could mean that you're allowing a hack to enter your account and therefore your friends accounts. You don't want to feel responsible for that now do you? My recent cloned friend had 8 duplicate friends. Uh huh, we don't know that many that are so technologically challenged that they can't figure out how to get into their original accounts. Not in today's world.
With that in mind, here are a few tips I would like to share:
- Look for mutual friends when any request comes through.
- If you "know" this friend and have common friends already, note how many mutual friends show up. If there are only a few, and you have known this person for a long time, the chances are, you should probably have many more friends in common.
- Don't accept yet. Check your friends list to see if you're already friends. If you're already friends, DON'T accept this request.
- Delete the request and report it as spam or as a fake account. The powers that be at FB will take care of it. Do this from a desk/laptop computer, it's easier. Trust me.
- Check your true friends timeline to see if they've noticed they've been "hacked". If not, message them and let them know. Encourage them to change their password and to check their friends lists for duplicate friends (more on this below).
- DON'T message this second request either. These people are good at what they do. You may think you're having a conversation with your friend - seriously - until they tell you they need thousands of dollars because they're stuck in some 3rd world country, have had bad luck recently, or worse.
- Be sure to let the common friends you have with the cloned account know that they may have friended a cloned account so they can check their list and delete it too.
- Periodically go through your friends list. Look for duplicate names.
- If you find a duplicate name, again, check the mutual friends in common.
- How long have they been active?
- Personally, I would most likely end up deleting both unless I could determine without a doubt that one is real, and that should be easy enough unless the cloned account has been established for quite some time - which is usually a big give away.
As a Virtual Assistant, this is something I would do for a client and I would do it while using my favorite essential oil, Balance (Grounding Blend) in the diffuser. I want to be a responsible social connection and I hope these tips will serve you. The world is scary enough at times and Facebook or any social media outlet should not be.
Until next time, be well naturally.