• 'New' FB Scam Helps Online Criminals Steal your Identity

    Always be skeptical.
    by Andrei Medina .
  • 'New' FB Scam Helps Online Criminals Steal your Identity
    IMAGE Pixabay
  • A Facebook post that claims all user accounts are currently being hacked has gone viral over the past few days.

    The post usually starts with the line "Just giving everyone a fair warning" that tells other users that "hackers" are attempting to copy everyone's Facebook profiles and pass it as their own.

    Here's a sample of the post.

    There's actually nothing wrong with being a little paranoid, especially when it comes to security, but there are some inconsistencies in the mentioned warning.

    A closer look shows that the actual process the supposed perpetrators are doing is not the "hacking" of Facebook accounts, but cloning, which is something comparable to identity theft.

    Facebook cloning can be easily done by anyone. All you have to do is grab some screenshots of another person's profile photo and create a profile using his or her name.

    The warning also states that the perpetrators use your cloned account to add your friends to their list. Naturally, they will accept it thinking it's you with your name and all. They will then proceed to "borrow" money or other items of value from your friends using the cloned profile.

    However, this post has been going around since last year and only resurfaced recently. Check the date on this:

    At this point, we're not really sure if this post is a legit warning or just a hoax, but it's better to err on the side of caution. To protect your account from cloning, the best thing you could do are the following:

    1) PM your friends

    Instead of reposting this warning on your wall, write a private message to the friends in your list addressing the issue and stating that you only have one account.

    This way, it shows that you are serious in protecting you and your friends' privacy. You also get to make sure the message is actually seen by your friends and not just scrolled over through a busy news feed.

    2) Fix your privacy settings

    Keep your posts private, so that they are only accessible to your friends (unless you are promoting something that will benefit more if the public eye sees it).

    The last thing you want is making it easy for other people to clone your account with all the extra details like your address, mobile number and other info that could lead into them believing it is you.


    3) Avoid accepting friend requests from strangers

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    Ever get a friend request from a total stranger, someone whose name doesn't even ring a bell? Don't add that person because it might be an attempt to get access and steal your personal details so they could pose as you. You've been warned.

    This story originally appeared on Fhm.com.ph.

    * Minor edits have been made by the Smartparenting.com.ph editors. 

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