Facebook users are once again being tricked to forward phony messages, this time warning of potential duplicate accounts. Many users are already on high alert due to hackers having “cloning” accounts in the past by stealing users names and photos, and then adding their contacts in an attempt to scam them out of money or go phishing for personal information.
So taking that into consideration, you can almost see why so many people fall for it. The message people have been receiving reads as follows:
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 [sic]…I had to do the people individually. Good Luck!”
According to WIBW 13 News, officials in Plaquemines Parish in Louisiana recommend not forwarding the message. “Your account isn’t sending duplicate friend requests. And you didn’t receive a request from the person you’re forwarding it to,” states the warning. You’re simply doing it because the message tells you to.”
The hoax was first pointed out last month by Snopes, which advises anyone who suspects their Facebook account was cloned to send separate, private messages to a few contacts to see if any have, in fact, received any duplicate requests. Likewise, you can just search Facebook for your own name and report any unauthorized profiles that might turn up.
Ultimately, the hoax isn’t actually causing any harm, just annoying the heck out of your friends and family and making you look like a bit of an online rube. But just a little awareness can save you from unnecessary embarrassment.