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Issue 145 - December 2012 (2nd Edition) - Page 15

Facebook 'Pirates' Fraud Warning

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Circulating message warns of a new type of fraud on Facebook in which "pirates" copy profile photos, use them to create bogus accounts and then send friend requests in the name of the victims.

Such fraudulent activity does take place on Facebook. However, it is certainly nothing new. Creating fake Facebook profiles using stolen images and other information is an activity generally known as cloning and has been around for years. Unscrupulous individuals can clone a person's profile and then use the cloned profile to send friend requests. The cloned profiles can subsequently be used to send spam messages and launch scam attacks. They might also be used to gather personal information from the friends of the people whose accounts have been cloned for future identity theft attacks.

Thus, cloning is certainly something that Facebook users should be aware of. However, this rather breathless exclamation mark ridden message does a rather poor job of explaining the potential danger. The message suggests the scammers do no more than steal a photo to create a fake profile. However, a person looking to sucessfully clone a profile will likely steal a lot more information from the targeted victim than just a profile image. In fact, the more information available to be stolen and reused on the clone profile, the more believable it will be. Concerned Facebookers should make sure that they use privacy settings that guard as much of their information as possible from strangers.

Moreover, the implication in the message that cloning is something new that is suddenly running rampant on Facebook is inaccurate and misleading.

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Last updated: December 4, 2012
First published: December 4, 2012
Article written by Brett M. Christensen
Research by David White, Brett Christensen
About Brett Christensen and Hoax-Slayer

New Fraud on Facebook... There's some "Pirates" that copy your profile photo and request friendship in your name with a new account. Do not accepts any requests in my name since this is my only and sole account... thanks to all... Copy this post to your wall... Advise all your contacts..

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Making 'clone' Facebook accounts can fool ANYONE into accepting a fake friend within 24 hours - even security experts
What Is a Facebook Clone?

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Issue 145 Start Menu

Pages in this issue:
  1. Hoax - NASA Predicts Total Blackout of Planet in Dec 2012
  2. 'You Have Received a Secure Message' Malware Emails
  3. Christmas Cards For Dalton Dingus
  4. Jim Carrey is NOT Dead
  5. Australian Power & Gas 'Payment Receipt' Malware Emails
  6. Gmail 'Update Account' Phishing Scam
  7. Starbucks Lack of Support For Iraq Troops Rumor
  8. Holiday Horrors - Are Common Seasonal Decorations Toxic?
  9. Facebook 'Site Governance' Email is Legitimate
  10. RapidFax Malware Email
  11. Facebook Survey Scam - Free Bunnings Gift Card
  12. Plea to Help Find Homes for 52 Thoroughbred Horses
  13. Giant Table and Chairs Horse Shelter Photograph
  14. Wrestling Star John Cena is NOT Dead
  15. Facebook 'Pirates' Fraud Warning
  16. Leptospirosis Death Warning - Rat Urine on Soda Can Top
  17. Egg Windshield Attack Robbery Warning
  18. 'Assistance Internet' Email Account Phishing Scam
  19. Misleading Health Advice Email - 'Mayo Clinic on Aspirin and Heart Attacks'