We’re already Facebook Friends?
Have you noticed friend requests from people you’re already friends with on Facebook?
So how does one send multiple friend requests even when they’re friends?
Its called Facebook cloning
Hackers create fake accounts under personal names (like yours) and send out friend requests to people you might know. They might send out links to websites with malicious intent or try to trick you into giving out personal information only a friend would give out.
But have you got one or received a message about it?
So what’s the new Viral Clone thingy mabobber?
The message claims that the sender received another friend request from you and urges you to check your account. It then instructs you to send the same post to your other Facebook friends. People are sharing the post via Messenger and News Feed.
But, the post is just an amazingly inept attempt to warn people about a common Facebook scam known as “cloning” (described in more detail below).
If a friend informs you that he or she has received a second friend request from you, this could indeed be an indication that your account has been cloned. And, you certainly should check it out so that you can take action to protect yourself and your friends if your account really has been cloned.
However, at the risk of stating the obvious, sending a second friend request warning is only helpful if you really HAVE received a second friend request from someone. And, the warning should ONLY be sent to the friend whose name is on the second friend request.
Unfortunately, this utterly absurd message advises people to share the post with ALL of their friends regardless of whether they have received a second friend request or not.
The supposed warning is doing nothing whatsoever to help keep people safe from cloning scams. Instead, it is spreading confusion, fear, and alarm for no good reason. And, it is panicking users into distributing utterly useless information far and wide.
Many people who receive the message may believe that the friend who sent it really has received a second friend request from them and thus mistakenly conclude that their account has been cloned.
Moreover, the message does not even explain what cloning actually is or provide any information about how people might protect themselves from it.
PRO TIP: Always make sure you know who you’re talking with. Here’s some helpful information to help prevent this.
How to Prevent Facebook Cloning
The more information and photos you share using public settings, the more legitimate a cloned account will appear to those receiving a friend request. Controlling your privacy settings on Facebook is the key to preventing your account from being cloned.
One of the best ways to prevent this scam is to make sure you hide your friend’s list from the public, prying eyes:
Go to your profile
> Click Friends below your cover photo and select Edit Privacy from the menu
> Select an audience that is not Public (i.e. Friends Only)
Avoid Public Settings on Personal Profiles
For most settings you want to avoid using “Public” on a personal Facebook account to ensure better control over your information and who can see and use it. Many of these options can be found in the Privacy Settings and Tools:
> Click in the top right corner of your profile select Settings.
> Choose Privacy Settings and Tools to review your privacy options.
Here are some additional, basic privacy tips that you should review to help to secure your Facebook account and make it more difficult for a malicious person to clone:
- Hide your Friend list
- Use the Facebook Privacy Review option
- Control who can see your posts
- Limit access to posted photos
- View your own profile as Public to see what people not in your Friend list will see
- Review your privacy options on a regular basis
How to Report Fake and Cloned Accounts
If you discover that your Facebook account has been cloned, report the fake account to Facebook. You can click the three dots (more) options from any profile, and then click “Report” in the menu. Also, if you receive a friend request, take a minute to review your current friend list to make sure the person is not already added, and if this appears to be a friend request from a fake account, report the account and also let your friend know they have been cloned.