Cyber Police issues advisory on Facebook cloning

The Cyber Wing of J&K Police has issued an advisory on Facebook cloning advising users to ensure that their personal information remains hidden from the public.

Cyber police said that a scammer clones the victim’s Facebook account by stealing their personal photos and information and create a new account with their stolen identity.

“They proceed to friend request people on the targeted victim’s friend list, many of whom accept the request with the belief that the person has simply made a new account,” cyber police officials told Greater Kashmir.

“Once the scammer builds a believable profile, they utilize their stolen identity to manipulate friends into sending them money.”

The scammer, the Cyber police officials said, 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,” the officials said, adding that the recipients of the messages may be more willing to send money because they are under the impression that they are sending it to a trusted source.

The officials said that “if you suspect that you are being contacted by a cloned profile, be sure to contact the person outside of Facebook to confirm their identity,” they said, adding that there is no guaranteed way to protect Facebook account from being cloned. “However, there are precautions that can be taken to help prevent it from happening.”

“One of the best ways to protect your account information from potential scammers is to make sure that your privacy settings are secure,” they said, adding that Facebook allows adjusting your privacy settings to determine who can see your profile activity and account information.

“Making sure that your privacy settings are set so that your friends list, photos, and personal information are hidden from the public is one of the most efficient ways to ensure that your private information stays private,” officials said.