This morning you may have woken to find several of your Facebook friends have created new profiles and friend request invitations to view these.
These requests are the result of a Facebook scam where a user's account is duplicated with the same name, profile and cover picture as you but not under your control. Even your real friends and family will be added to the creeds list of this account as invites are sent out from this new account to theirs.
From this point on the cyber criminal running this fake account can impersonate you. The scam works because your friends and family will start to see posts and messages from an account they believe is genuinely yours. They may not be suspicious when they receive a request for money or are directed to potentially harmful websites. They will start by engaging in conversation and building trust before any requests are made.
If you or someone you know has been affected by this account cloning scam then you will need to report this to Facebook who will investigate and close the duplicated account.
Report the duplicate account to Facebook by clicking on the menu button and selecting the report option from the dropdown.
Improved security updates made recently to Facebook may mean the social network is already aware of the issue and has already flagged this for investigation. In this case, it will ask you to confirm the suspicions when you next log in and take you straight to a report page. In around an hour after the report was made the duplicated account may be deleted.
Increased privacy settings will help prevent your account been duplicated. The highest security settings will ensure that only your approved friends can see your account.
Any Facebook users who believe they are being targeted by an account they suspect is fake, they should simply search Facebook to see if they are already friends with the person they’re getting an additional friend request from.
Beware of any apps that ask for excessive permissions to access your Facebook profile, they often ask for more permission than needed in the hope the owner will just accept.