No, Your Facebook Account Probably Hasn’t Been ‘Cloned’

Posted at 10:39 AM, Oct 07, 2018
and last updated 2018-10-07 11:02:03-04

(WLWT) — Many Facebook users are reporting, and re-posting, messages about a supposed “cloning” attack on individual accounts, but experts say it’s a hoax.

WLWT reports here that many users are seeing messages from friends saying something along these lines:

“Heads-up!! Almost every account is being cloned. Your picture and your name are used to create a new face book account (they don’t need your password to do this this). They want your friends to add them to their Facebook account. Your friends will think that it’s you and accept your request. From that point on they can write what they want under your name. I have NO plans to open a new account. Please DO NOT accept a 2nd friend request from ‘me’. please forward to all your contacts.”

Another message reads:

“Hi….I actually got another friend request from you yesterday…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. Good Luck!”

But not to fear, Facebook accounts are not really being cloned. A scammer cannot clone your Facebook account, but they can create one with your name and picture, then send requests to your friends with the goal of getting money or sending your friends a computer virus through Facebook’s Messenger.

Facebook officials told WSYR the clone warning may be going viral out of an abundance of caution by users. The company stresses that this is not related to last week’s security breach.

If it appears that a friends account has been cloned, you can report it to Facebook. Click here for more information.