Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Facebook account Clone

Early yesterday evening I began to receive notices from family and friends that something was amiss with my Facebook (FB) account. It seemed I had a new account which had about a half dozen pictures from my original account -- including my profile picture. Many if not all of my existing Facebook friends had been invited to accept "friend" requests to the new fake site. I had even been given a sex change. 

With some tips from savvy friends -- especially Drew Smith -- I quickly, began to understand what had happened. If I did a FB search for my name, I only got into my own original site. However, if my wife did the same search, she got 2 hits. One listed me as her husband and the other listed me as a female. My conclusion, possibly correct, was that whoever created the site was sophisticated enough to block me from findind the new site by searching from my original site. When I tried to follow a link sent me by a friend, I got this message: 

Sorry, this page isn't available

The link you followed may be broken, or the page may have been removed.

This prevented me from logging into the new site and requesting FB to take the pretender down. But my wife and others could still find the second site. 

This must have happened many times before. As I worked my way through the many FB help pages, I was first directed to log into the offending site and then contact FB. That was not possible in my case because I could not find the site from my legitimate account. 

With a little more digging, I found an option to have a friend to request that the rogue site be removed. My wife did so. I was then contacted by FB to verify that I wanted the second site removed. They took it down within minutes. 

If you ever get a friend request from an existing friend, be a real friend and notify the person immediately of this anomaly. Apparently 40 of my friends accepted the fake friend requests. If this happens to you, contact FB immediately.

I have no idea who did this or why. Be vigilant.

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