Fraudulent requests from friends on Facebook and how to prevent them from being taken advantage of
What to do when you receive a friend request from someone you don’t know and there are no mutual friends? Or someone from a group or game you are active in? Or a friend of a friend who has no sense why a request would come? Or someone you know you’re already friends with? Think before you agree: adding people by the simple act of adding people is pretty sure that you will encounter emerging problems: it will be cloned (someone will set up a new FB profile, posing as you, complete with your photo and personal information removed from your profile) , or you will be posting dishonest things, not knowing that you are posting them (thanks to a dishonest friend who now has access to you), or your personal information and your habits are now known to strangers (and leaving you vulnerable to theft or worse ).
If you meet someone in a group, game, or app, you really don’t know if the person is who they say they are. The person might be there, hoping to build rapport with others so that they can connect with everyone and start sending fraudulent offers and pleas. There is no guarantee that someone on FB is who they say they are. Even if the identity is true, that does not mean that your motives are pure.
If you receive a request from someone you know is already a friend, do not accept it; check with your friend first as the new request is likely from a clone. You can often look at your page link and notice that it is different from a normal page link, not just the person’s name. Sometimes it can be legitimate (a friend forgot her password and instead of FB resetting she set up a new profile).
Cloners want to impersonate you, or anyone else, to gain access to your friend list, sending friend requests to all those friends. Once a new friends list is created, dishonest posts and requests start to get published: asking for money, posting clickable things that try to take advantage of you or phishing schemes (to collect information about you), etc. It may seem harmless, but it gives a dishonest person a lot of information. The questionnaires ask specific questions: they collect information that, for many people, will be one of their passwords.
Sometimes a legitimate friend gets hacked – someone has logged in as that person and is posting things that the real person would not post. If you see it, let your friend know in a way that is not connected to Facebook: email, phone call, text message, or Messenger.
Rebellious friends are not only harmful to you, but also to your friends. Once you make a friend, that person has access to all of your friends, and anyone who hasn’t made their friend list private is also vulnerable to cloning. Your friends will also be in contact with your friend “you” once you are cloned.
I expect more cloning and fraud of these associations to occur. I suggest you do what I have done: make your information private only to your friends and make your friends list private only to you.
If you have posted questionnaires with a large amount of your information or have taken notes on Facebook with a lot of personal information, delete anything that contains information that you would use as a password or passphrase.
FB is full of schemers, spammers, and cloners. Be attentive. Don’t give them all your information. Don’t click on the posts; many, if not most, will attempt to obtain information from you (your passwords, access to your profile, for example). A questionnaire that asks for a lot of personal information (giving a lot of information to be able to guess passwords) is rarely a good answer. Posting when you are on vacation tells people that you are not home; Your posts are found in other people’s feeds when their mutual friends “like”, comment on, or react to your post. When you accept an app or become a member of a group (which can be suspicious), your information and permissions often go hand in hand with the people running the app. Unruly people can collect so much information by lurking on FB.