A few days ago we were contacted by a friend who reported an event that can be very unsettling. Our friend, call her “Claris,” was contacted by a Facebook friend who received a “friend request” from Claris even though she and Claris were already Facebook friends. Upon investigation, Claris discovered that she seemed to suddenly have two Facebook accounts in her name. However, one of these accounts had very little information on it other than Claris’ name and identical profile picture. The picture had been copied from her real Facebook account.
What we would like you to notice in the above screenshot of the newly created account is that there is no real content to speak of and the account has no history. Look at the timeline in the upper right corner.
Claris immediately sent out a warning on her real FB account and learned that a number of her friends had been contacted to “friend” her again and one person fell for the bait. The person who friended the fake account set up in Claris’ name received a private message from the fake Claris saying that she (the friend) had won some kind of consumer prize and her name was listed on some website-or-other about the prize.
Not following this? That’s OK…. we had a hard time too. Bottom line… The scammer created a fake Facebook account and used it to attract real friends of Claris and, once connected, used that connection to perpetrate a scam. The scam seemed to come from a “email@example.com” and said that the friend had won a certificate and car. In order to receive these winnings, the friend only needed to pay a small tax, which SHE PAID via Western Union to a woman named Barbara Kopp, 5880 Boulder Falls Street, in Henderson, NV 89011. [This is known as an Advance Fee scam. Visit our listing of many types of Advance Fee scams!] Once the money was paid, texts followed saying that there were more fees. You know where this goes…
We found more information online about a similar scam from this email address: www.scambook.com/report/view/108773/robinsmithdeaf-Complaint-108773-for-$2,680.00
For Claris, this was a bit scary since she didn’t know who created the new account or for what purpose. Only that her image and name had been stolen and was being used to contact her real friends. This is completely against the Facebook Terms of Service and Facebook provides a means for dealing with it:
Fortunately, Facebook responding within hours, removing the fake page. As a precaution, Claris changed her Facebook password and profile photo, and informed all her friends of the scam page.