Well, it Happened to Me
When we tell you that NOBODY is immune from cyber attack, we really mean it.
Yes, I receive all the same smishing texts (i.e., text messages that try to trick me into clicking a link to get that rebate from a company where I know I have never shopped) and I get the phishing emails trying to get me to click on a link to verify my Wells Fargo bank account (where I have never had an account). I am very careful not to fall for these.
I also use difficult to guess passwords, use different passwords on all my accounts and use multi-factor authentication. Even with all that, I still became a cyber victim.
Saturday morning, I got a text message from my niece asking me if I had created a new Facebook page because she had just received a “friend request” from a Facebook account with my picture and my name. She knew it wasn’t right because we were already Facebook friends. (I’m so proud of her for the suspicion that I have fostered in her 😊).
She sent me a screenshot of the page that was supposedly me. Yes, it had my profile picture, the same cover photo, and my name. But no posts, no other photos, no friends. Just a brand new profile that had been created just 2 hours earlier. It was a very creepy feeling to see that.
Why would someone want to clone a Facebook page? First, you need to understand that someone cannot communicate with you on Facebook messenger unless you are friends. So once the fake profile page is created, the scammer then sends friend requests to everyone I have as my friend. The assumption is that they will accept the friend request and will now be friends with both me and the scammer.
What can the scammer do now? Well, they can communicate with my friends (now their ‘friends’) in messenger posing as me. They can ask them for money or for a favor. They might trick them into giving them passwords or other information that can be used to steal from their bank accounts or maybe even steal their identity if they get enough data.