Today’s Scam of the day is one about which I have written in the past, however it continues to pop up frequently as evidenced by one of my long-time friends becoming a victim recently.   If one of your friends received a Facebook friend request that appeared to come from you, it does not mean that your account was hacked. It does mean however that your account was cloned in the sense that someone has set up a Facebook account or some other social media account in your name or a slight variation of it in order to trick people into trusting messages that they post, to lure them into scams or to trick them into clicking on links containing malware. This is nothing new. Facebook estimates that there are as many as 60 million phony cloned Facebook accounts including hundreds of its founder Mark Zuckerberg. Facebook tries to remove the cloned accounts when it becomes aware of them, but they consistently spring up again soon thereafter.  You also should let your friends know that your account has been cloned and warn them not to accept any new friend requests from you.  If you do find that someone has set up a Facebook account in your name, you should contact Facebook as soon as possible in order for Facebook to take action to cancel the phony cloned account. Here is a link you can use to report such a phony or cloned account.


As indicated above, if you do receive a friend request from someone who already is a Facebook friend of yours, you should contact the friend to let them know that their Facebook account has been cloned so they can report it to Facebook and get the phony, cloned account taken down. It is also important to remember that there will be times that you are contacted by what appear to be real friends or acquaintances where the truth is that it really is not them contacting you, but someone posing as them. Never click on links in any email or text message unless you have absolutely confirmed that the communication is legitimate. Never provide personal information in response to any communication as well until you have confirmed that it is legitimate. As I always warn you, trust me, you can’t trust anyone.

This is probably also a good time to remind you about steps you can take to actually make your Facebook account more impervious to actually being hacked.  The first thing you should do is make sure you have a strong password.  For some advice about choosing a strong password, go to the Search  scams tab in and write in “strong password” which will bring up a number of Scams of the day in which I described how to pick a strong password.  You should also enable two factor authentication for your account which will dramatically strengthen the security of your Facebook account. Here is a link with more information about how to install dual factor authentication for your Facebook account.  You also may want to review your privacy settings on Facebook to make them less vulnerable to hackers. Here is a link with more information about adjusting your privacy settings on Facebook.

For those of you receiving the Scam of the day through an email, I just want to remind you that if you want to see the ever increasing list of Coronavirus scams go to the first page of the website and click on the tab at the top of the page that indicates “Coronavirus Scams.”  Scamicide was recently cited by the New York Times as one of three top sources for information about Coronavirus related scams.

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