I have been receiving quite a number of Facebook messages lately, warning me that scammers are cloning Facebook accounts to pretend to the person belonging to the account and thereby gaining access to possible sensitive information.  Below is the message I keep getting from a lot of different people...

Heads-up!! Almost every account is being cloned. Your picture and your name are used to create a new face book account (they don't need your password to do this this). They want your friends to add them to their Facebook account. Your friends will think that it's you and accept your request. From that point on they can write what they want under your name. I have NO plans to open a new account. Please DO NOT accept a 2nd friend request from "me". please forward to all your contacts.

What do you do with a message like this? You can either panic and tell all your friends about it, or better yet, just search your name on Facebook to see if there are other accounts out there with your name.  If there are, are there any accounts pretending to be you or do they simply belong to someone with the same name?  If you do see another account with your name and it's a cloned account, make sure you report it to Facebook. When I tried this, I did find someone with my same first and last name but the last name was hyphenated and it was NOT someone trying to pretend to be me.

In my experience, when I get forwarded messages by either Facebook or email, most of the time they are false and the work of scammers.  Just make sure you investigate the validity of the message before just passing it on, inadvertently making other people in your friends list panic for no reason.

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