Viral Facebook Hoax That Would Make You Think Your Account is Hacked
This is the latest Facebook hoax; you’d get a message from some of your friends saying that they have got another friend request from you and that they had ignored the request thinking it’s not genuine. You’d also be asked to distribute the news as well.
The message would read something like this:
“Hi…I actually got another friend request from you which I ignored so you may want to check your account. Hold your finger on the message until the forward button appears…then hit forward and all the people you want to forward too…I had to do the people individually. PLEASE DO NOT ACCEPT A NEW friendship FROM ME AT THIS TIME.”
If such a message comes to you, it’s most likely that you have not been hacked or impersonated on Facebook. No such requests got sent from your side as well. It’s all just part of a viral hoax and people are falling for it.
Snopes.com explains, “This message played on warnings about the phenomenon of Facebook “pirates” engaging in the “cloning” of Facebook accounts, a real (but much over-hyped) process by which target existing Facebook users account by setting up new accounts with identical profile pictures and names, then sending out friend requests which appear to originate from those “cloned” users. Once those friend requests are accepted, the scammers can then spread messages which appear to originate from the targeted account, luring that person’s friends into propagating malware, falling for phishing schemes, or disclosing personal information that can be used for identity theft.”
The post further says, “This particular warning suggests the recipient’s Facebook account has been targeted for such “cloning,” as indicated by the sender’s having received “a second friend request” from that account…While a warning of this nature could be legitimate, the fact that this exact same message has been spread to untold thousands of Facebook users indicates that it is at worst a scam or hoax, and at best a once well-intentioned warning rendered useless by being uncritically reposted all over Facebook.”
So, what’s to be done if you get such a message from any of your Facebook friends?
Well, the first thing that you can do is, check on the account of the friend from whom you’ve got the message. Search with the friend’s name and if you find two completely identical accounts, then it indicates that one of them is a clone account. Now, if the message you got is from the clone account, report it to Facebook immediately.
The next best thing that you can do is send private messages to each of your friends, those that have sent you the message to confirm things. This is because such messages have been found coming from real accounts and not always from cloned accounts. So, you can contact your friends and confirm things. The best thing would be to ignore such a message.
Now, the most important thing. When you get such a message, never forward it to any of your friends. There is no point in forwarding such a message to any of your friends unless you have actually received a second friend request from them.
Julia Sowells410 Posts
Julia Sowells has been a technology and security professional. For a decade of experience in technology, she has worked on dozens of large-scale enterprise security projects, and even writing technical articles and has worked as a technical editor for Rural Press Magazine. She now lives and works in New York, where she maintains her own consulting firm with her role as security consultant while continuing to write for Hacker Combat in her limited spare time.