Yesterday I got a friend request from someone I was already friends with — a junior high school friend. Since I have had Facebook friends create more than one account or have an old account get accidentally deleted, I accepted the request. This morning, I got a suspicious email. Forget suspicious — it was outright spam!
The spammer used my friend’s personal information to try and solicit money. (She works at a school for the deaf so the spammer mentioned deaf kids. UGGG.) When I searched for my friend’s name I realized that I was friends with two of the same person. Both accounts even used the same profile picture! I immediately reported the person as an impersonator using the report fake account link at the bottom left-hand side of the page, and then reported his or her direct message as spam.
The worst part of all of this: That spammer had access to ALL of my information including my photos and photos of my kids for about 16 hours. I am really mad and really scared. On the plus side I don’t have any phone numbers, my address, or any other really personal information on the page. I’ve always figured if you’re my real friend, you’re going to have all that information or be able to get it from me pretty quickly. But my photos! Well, that’s really upsetting considering I don’t even post photos of my kids on this blog. I don’t even use their real names!
Since this happened, I went and updated my personal information, making my friend list visible to only me. I also made sure all my other privacy settings were set to either Only Me or Friends. (You can find this information under Account/Privacy Settings/Customize settings and Account/Privacy Settings/Connecting on Facebook.)
So a word of warning to everyone: If you get a duplicate friend request, don’t automatically accept it! Ask your friend why they are sending you another request, and I think, at least for me, the same should apply to regular requests. It’s so sad that people will go to such lengths to scam others. And it’s really sad that I now have to live in fear that someone, somewhere stole my photos and is waiting to prey on my friends and family and their friends and family and so on and so on and so on. Just like the Breck commercial. But without all the bouncy, pretty hair.