Beware of Facebook “fake clone” messages, It’s a hoax

It’s that time of the year again! When a Facebook message goes viral with a warning that your account has been cloned and asks you to forward the message to your friends.

Several Facebook users have recently reported their accounts were duplicated after they received a cloned friend request message asking them to forward the message to friends.

The hoax went viral this Sunday, saying that the sender received a duplicate friend request from the recipient according to a report by Time.

“There appears to be no reason at this time to forward a message telling friends that their account may have been cloned without having actually received a duplicate friend request,” said the report.

The messages all followed the same pattern as the one below:

“Hi, I actually got another friend request from you yesterday…which I ignored so you may want to check your account. Hold your finger on the message until the forward button appears…then hit forward and all the people you want to forward too. I had to do the people individually. Good Luck!” read the post.

The fake message seems to have worked because a lot of users took the bait and forwarded the message on social media, saying their accounts had been hacked.

If you thought about it rationally though, you would realize that the only individuals in need of receiving a copy of such a message are people who you have actually received duplicate friends requests from, but plenty of Facebook users are still sharing the message far and wide. If you have any questions or concerns…

Posted by Plaquemines Parish Office of Homeland Security and Emergency Preparedness on Saturday, October 6, 2018

However some of the users were smart enough to identify the hoax:

“Please stop sending me copy and paste emails about Facebook accounts being cloned. Apparently, this is a hoax and I am getting SPAMMED with them. It’s crazy. My friends are too,” tweeted one user.

A similar mass cloning scam occurred on Facebook in 2016 as well.

WSYR TV was told by Facebook that rates of duplicated accounts have not increased this week, and also confirmed that the scam is not connected at all to the recent massive Facebook security breach.

What do to if you have received the viral message too?

If you were unfortunate enough to receive the message, you can just ignore it, and carry out a Facebook search to ensure your account has not, in fact, been replicated.

If your account, however, has been duplicated, you can report the fake account to Facebook.

Reporting the fake account is a good idea because spammers can otherwise use it to impersonate you and ask your friends for money or sensitive information about you.