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Facebook Accounts being Hacked or Cloned - DON'T Suffer the Consequences
Ref: 155

Date: Tue 27/Feb/2024, 02:29

Facebook has many accounts which are being Hacked into or Cloned, the most common being Cloned. Many people use the wrong term but the action to rectify it is different. Both have consequences and you need to address the issue without any delay, but you may need your friends to help you do this.

Hacked = someone has worked out what your password is and logged into your account. You can usually see this because someone other than you is typing messages and posts on your account. If you can still login to your account then do so and IMMEDIATLY change your password to something cryptic so they cannot easily work out what it is. If you are unable to access the account then do your best to contact Facebook and get your friends to contact Facebook to report the issue and try and get your account back.

A cryptic password is much more secure and harder if not impossible to crack. Choose a password that meets all the following criteria:

  1. Use at least 10 characters for your password.
  2. Do not use obvious words.
  3. Use upper and lower case letters and not necessarily only at the beginning of individual words.
  4. Intersperse the letters with numbers and not merely add "123" at the end.
  5. Use special characters interspersed in your password, if your email provider allows this, like for example £$%^&*.
  6. Change your password from time to time.
 To Friends of someone who has had their account Hacked: If you suspect this has occurred then contact your friend in some other way, or contact someone who can contact them in some other way, to tell them what you think as soon as possible. They can then take some action before it becomes too serious.  

Cloned = scammers have found you on Facebook, probably copied some of your pictures and registered a new account in your name and using your pictures. You cannot stop this from happening. Your account is still safe BUT your reputation may not be because these scammers will start friend requesting all your Facebook friends and then start posting undesirable things in your name which could cause you a lot of problems.

If your account has been Cloned then DO NOT just tell friends to not accept a friend request or to ignore or block them. If this is all your friends do then the scammer with the clone of your account will carry on friend requesting as many people as he/she can then start posting undesirable things in your name, and people will think it is you. 

In both the case of being Hacked or Cloned, DO NOT just leave the account and open a new one, because these scammers and hackers will carry on their dirty work in your name. One lesson on how to annoy your closest friends and family, who may want nothing to do with you anymore.

To Friends of someone who has had their account Cloned:
  1. DO NOT just accept random friend requests from friends who you are already friends with! So many people do and this compounds the problem because it becomes harder to get a cloned account removed if they have a lot of friends. Facebook has a hard job determining if an account is in fact fake or not.
  2. Do NOT just delete the friend request or block the account you think is a cloned account. This helps NOBODY!
  3. First contact your friend to confirm that their Facebook account has been cloned and it is not a second account they have set up. I had a friend who lost access to her account because of a computer crash and she had no way of getting access to it again, so she opened a new Facebook account but she got blocked again and again by Facebook because so many of her friends were reporting her account as a cloned account to Facebook!
  4. If the account is a Cloned account then post on your friends legitimate account with a link to the cloned account, and tell people there is a cloned account. That way when Facebook are deciding whether to delete a cloned account or not, there will be evidence on the legitimate account.
  5. Go to the cloned account and click the 3 horizontal dots icon. Then click the "Find support or report" on the popup window. You will get a popup window that has "Pretending to be someone" - click that and follow the procedure.
  6. Do NOT just leave it for everyone else to do, because they won't, besides the more people that report an account the better it is for Facebook to decide it is in fact a cloned account.
  7. Keep a record of the cloned account and go back from time to time to see if it does get removed by Facebook. If it is still there then report it again.

To people who have had their account Cloned: Do NOT tell your friends that you have been Hacked and to not accept friend requests because this certainly will NOT help you avoid inevitable problems coming your way when they start posting very undesirable things in your name to your friends and family, and trying their level best to scam them in some way with your friends in all probability thinking it is you.

Frankly I think that Facebook should do a lot more to stop this happening, like blocking the IP addresses or disallowing people from one country to set up accounts and say they are living in another country - because Facebook can determine where they are using the IP address. In the mean time we can ALL do our best to save ourselves and our friends a lot of trouble, strife, embarrassment and quite possibly aggression from those who have been scammed in your name.

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