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Issue 147 - February 2013 (1st Edition) - Page 4

Facebook 'Pirates' Fraud Warning

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FAcebook Pirate Warning
Outline
Circulating messages warn of a new type of fraud on Facebook in which "pirates" or "hackers" copy profile photos, use them to create bogus accounts and then send friend requests in the name of the victims.



Analysis
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, these rather breathless messages do a rather poor job of explaining the potential danger. The messages suggest that the scammers do no more than steal a photo to create a fake profile. However, a person looking to successfully 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 messages that cloning is something new that is suddenly running rampant on Facebook is inaccurate and misleading. As noted, Facebook profile cloners have been active on the network for a very long time.


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Last updated: January 24, 2013
First published: December 4, 2012
Article written by Brett M. Christensen
Research by David White, Brett Christensen
About Brett Christensen and Hoax-Slayer


Examples

Please be careful: some hackers have found something new. They take your profile picture and your name and create a new FB account. Then they ask your friends to add them. Your friends think it is you, so they accept. From that moment on they can say and post whatever they want under your name. Please don't accept a second friendship demand from me, I have only one account. Copy this on your wall to keep others informed

Attention!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
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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References

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 147 Start Menu

Pages in this issue:
  1. Does Rubbing Vicks VapourRub on Your Feet Relieve Coughing?
  2. FedEx Incorrect Delivery Address Malware Email
  3. Mickey Rourke Did NOT Die in A Snowboard Accident
  4. Facebook 'Pirates' Fraud Warning
  5. Spurious First Aid Advice - Flour For Treatment of Burns
  6. Kate Curry Missing Child Alert - Kate Has Now Been Found
  7. Circulating Post Recommends Wasp Spray As A Substitute for Pepper Spray
  8. Love Desire Facebook Group 'Virus' Warning
  9. Coconut Crab Photographs
  10. St.George Bank Phishing Scam Emails
  11. Facebook Trialling Option to Pay to Directly Inbox Non-Friends
  12. Sylvester Stallone is NOT Dead
  13. Shared Photo Request To Identify Cat Killers
  14. Who Will Be Your Valentine Virus Warning
  15. Hoax - Facebook Shutting Down on May (or March) 15, 2013
  16. Lead in Lipstick Alert - Cancer Causing Lipstick Hoax
  17. Blackberry 'Broadcast or Update Cancelled' Hoax
  18. Bogus Telstra 'Email Bill' Carries Malware
  19. Google Street View and the Donkey
  20. Interesting Old Human Formation Pictures