I first noticed something about some of the Facebook Friends requests when I would see profile pictures that didn't quite match the name. The one that comes to mind is the picture of a grandmotherly looking woman with a guy's name. Or the pictures that didn't match the nationality of the name. Granted these signs don't mean these aren't real people. However, when I clicked on the profiles I noted that usually the profiles only had the profile picture and no biographical information about the people. The other give away is that their "friends" were usually "celebrity" people.
At this point I didn't have a label for this, but when I started to see posts like this:
"[Collected via Facebook, January 2013] - Snopes.com
Please be careful: some hackers have found something new. They take your profile picture and your name and create a new FB account. Then they ask your friends to add them. Your friends think it is you, so they accept. From that moment on they can say and post whatever they want under your name. Please don't accept a second friendship demand from me, I have only one account. "
It turns out that it is called "Facebook Cloning" or "Facebook Pirates."
And I must have run into to really inept Cloners/Pirates, since the ones I had seen couldn't match name to face. According to the various articles usually the scammers are somewhat more subtle.
One vital point is that thankfully this not hacking of accounts. The scammers are endeavoring to win the trust of your friends in order to move forward with requests for money, or other scams.
A few things you can do to protect yourself against being cloned is to choose when you post who can see your photos and posts. This setting will remain until you change it in a another post.
The other thing that be done is checking out who you are becoming "Friends" with. Some of the telltale features of a cloned account is the lack of posts, or a lot of redundant posts. Also check out their "Friends" section. Does it only have few? Or does it have a lot of "celebrities?"
Of course, if you see a friend request come through of someone you know just double check your own "Friends" section, and see if they are already there.
If you are just using Facebook to connect with family and friends then limiting who can see your posts to just "friends," and not accepting strangers' requests, are recommended.
However business people need to recognize that Facebook is a good networking tool. If you decide that it is better to be more approachable then researching who sends you a "Friend" request will be worth the time. As will choosing who sees a post on a "post by post" basis.
Facebook Pirates Warning alerts social media users that Facebook 'pirates' are copying other users' profiles.
Viral Facebook Post Warns About Facebook Cloning – Warning is ValidBy Brett M. Christensen
Cathy Mosley brings her 26 years of storytelling and writing experience to the realm of Social Media. To help small businesses.