How the Scam Works:
You get a Friend Request. You don't have time to check out this new person, but you hit "accept" anyway. Or your privacy settings are pretty wide open and non-Friends can see your pages. Either way, the scammer uses the access to your account to scrape images and other information from your profile. He/she creates a new account under your same name and fills it with your photos, interests and status updates. With 500 million people on Facebook worldwide, you are unlikely to spot the impersonator.
After creating a duplicate account, the scammer sends Friend Requests to your existing Facebook Friends. People recognize your name and hit "accept," not realizing that the account is a fake. They don't notice anything is wrong until your imposture starts sending out requests for money and spam links.
Messages and links may be obvious scams when coming from an unknown email address, but they are a lot more credible when shared by a Facebook "Friend." Always be careful what you click, no matter who shares it.
What to Do About Facebook Impostures:
Help combat fake Facebook accounts by taking the following steps:
For More Information
Scammers impersonated several staff at a Baltimore news station this fall. Check out their news report on the Facebook scam.
For more information about scams, see BBB Scam Stopper.
This Scam Alert has been sponsored by Western Union.