Why you should ignore the Facebook message hoax and pay attention to these scams instead

Posted at 6:00 PM, Oct 08, 2018
and last updated 2018-10-09 08:36:09-04

Annoyed, confused, and worried. Metro Detroiters say that's their reaction after seeing a chain Facebook message pop up in their inbox more than once. 

It starts by saying, "Hi, I actually got another friend request from you yesterday...” 

The message seemingly wants to alert the user to a cloned account and asks you to forward it on.

Cedrick Collins says he didn't fall for it. 

"I wouldn’t want my family members or friends to get juked. Facebook is kind of iffy. You can’t just believe everything somebody sends to your inbox," said Collins. 

But thousands more did. If you forwarded it on, not to worry. 7 Action News is confirming today that it’s a hoax, just a chain message that doesn't carry a real threat. 

Facebook says they “aren’t aware of an increase in impersonation/cloning of FB accounts.”

But that doesn't mean a real cloning scam isn’t out there. 

"They try and pull aspects of your account that are public like your name, and they try and make a duplicate of your account," said cybersecurity expert Kevin Hayes. 

Hackers do it to target your friends for cash. 

The impersonator will often say they are stranded in another country and that they need you to wire them money. Many people around the country are falling victim. 

Another popular one is click-jacking, where users are lured into posts that link to a page outside of the site. Ultimately it allows for the hacker to start the download of harmful malware onto your computer.

Here's what you need to know in order not to fall victim. 

Stay vigilant. Don’t click on any suspicious links, especially those luring you in with free giveaways. 

Regularly check to see if your account has been cloned searching your name for duplicates. 

If you find one, report it to Facebook immediately so they can get it shut down.