• Facebook cloning is a technique in which scammer's and fraudsters use to create a fake Facebook profile by using images and other information stolen from a targeted user's real Facebook profile.

    The scammers may be able to create a profile that looks very much like the target's genuine profile.

    Facebook cloning is not hacking. The scammers have not gained access to the victim's real Facebook account or tricked the user into divulging his or her login details. They have simply copied publicly available information and images and used them to create a new profile.

    Why would scammer's do this you ask? Well, once the scammers have created a fake profile, they can send friend requests to people on the targeted person's friends list. At least, a few of the victim's friends will accept this second friend request because they mistakenly believe that the victim has accidentally unfriended them. Or, people with a large number of Facebook friends may have forgotten that they were already friends with the victim and accept the second friend request. And, unfortunately, some Facebook users tend to immediately accept friend requests without any thought as to whether they know the requester or whether they are already "friends" with the requester.

    Once the scammer has a few 'friends' on the fake profile, they can then start sending scam messages in the name of their victim.

    Some of the scams that are popular with cloned Facebook profiles:

    They may try to draw the friends into advance fee scams claiming that the victim has won a large sum of money and offering the 'friend' the chance to also win.

    They may send messages that claim the victim has been stranded in a foreign country and needs a short term loan to get out of trouble. Because the recipients
    of the message think they are talking to someone they know, they may agree to 'loan' the money.

    The scammers may also use the illusion of friendship to collect personal information from the victim's friends. A clever cloner may even be able to commit identity theft by tricking the victim's friends into divulging a large amount of their personal and financial information.

    Scammers can use the fake profile to defame you or your company, commit crimes, post porn. This type of activity is usually from someone you know who it vindictively trying to get back at you by ruining your reputation and good name, or the reputation of your business.

    How to protect yourself from having your Facebook profile cloned:

    To protect yourself from becoming a victim of Facebook cloning, ensure that you use privacy settings that guard as much of your information as possible from strangers.

    Also, be wary of any friend requests from people that you are already friends with.

    What to do if you have been a victim of Facebook profile cloning:

    If you discover that your Facebook account has been cloned, and a crime has been committed such as fraud or defamation you must report it to the local police and open a case. And, be sure to let all of your friends know about the cloning attempt so that they will not be caught out by bogus friend requests.

    Finally, we can help. We can assist in tracking the person involved, right down to the computer on their desk. We work with the local police investigating officer by giving them all the information we find to enable them to prosecute the perpetrator.

    We can assist victims worldwide as this type of investigation can be conducted from anywhere and does not require investigator "boots on the ground" in the country where either the victim or perpetrator lives.

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