Facebook releases statement on viral scam

Facebook has warned of a new viral hoax message that is fooling users into thinking their account has been ‘cloned’ by cybercriminals and to forward on the message to all of their Facebook friends to warn them of the mimic account, as reported in the Daily Mail.
The hoax message in full:

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….I had to do the people individually. Good Luck!

We requested comment from a local Facebook spokesperson:

  • We’ve heard that some people are seeing posts or messages about accounts being cloned on Facebook. It takes the form of a ‘chain mail’ type of notice.
  • People have told us that they don’t like seeing the same post that a lot of people are copying and pasting on to Facebook. So if enough people post the same long post, it could show up lower in people’s News Feeds.
  • Claiming to be another person on Facebook violates our Community Standards, and we have a dedicated team that’s tasked with helping to detect and block these kinds of scams. We have made several recent improvements to combat impersonation, including image recognition technology, automation to detect scams, and improved reporting abilities.
  • We encourage people to let us know about impersonating accounts using the reporting tools available here. Our teams review each one and take the appropriate action—including setting checkpoints (which require you to provide additional information in order to proceed) or shutting down profiles if necessary.
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