About that Facebook impostor hack/hoax: Don’t warn people unless you’re sure you’ve *actually* been hacked

First off, yes, Facebook has been hacked, and no, we don’t yet know how bad that hack is. Second, your Facebook account probably has NOT been hacked, and you probably don’t have a clone out there, despite all the messages and posts saying otherwise. Finally, it is actually possible (though unlikely) you do have a clone, but it’s relatively easy to fix that if you do.

There. Hope I’ve cleared everything up for you.

The sarcasm is intended to show how serious hacks of massive platforms like Facebook can be.  Pranksters who haven’t hacked anything can take advantage of confusion to create almost as much disruption as if they’d actually hacked something. That’s what’s happening right now.

In case you haven’t logged onto Facebook recently, a very viral message is going around, with senders (and posters) claiming they have been hacked. They believe they have an impostor, and they are warning recipients not to accept friend request from this impostor.

The prank begins when victims receive a message that looks something like this: “Hi….I actually got another friend request from you yesterday…which I ignored so you may want to check your account.”  That message urges recipients to forward the warning to everyone they know — that’s always a bad sign.  I’ve had plenty of friends simply post their own warning about it on their Facebook wall.  A few have sent around FB messages directly to me.   The posts look like this:

“Please don’t accept a friend request from me. My account was hacked.”

In most (but not all!) cases, it’s a false alarm.  A local Department of Homeland Security office in Louisiana is practically begging people to stop posting it.

“You can stop forwarding that latest warning from your Facebook friends about being hacked. You weren’t. It’s bogus. And you’re just making it worse,” it says.

Why is it believable? First, because Facebook did announce a serious hack last week, one we are still learning about. At least 50 million accounts were compromised. So Facebook and hacking have been in the news.

But perhaps even more significant: Facebook impostors are a real thing. At various times, there have been many mini-epidemics of it, though I am impressed with how well Facebook seems to contain them. In the real scam, which is pretty easy to pull off, a criminal pilfers a bunch of (public) photographs from your profile, then invites a bunch of your (public) friends to connect with this new profile.  In elaborate versions of this scam, the criminal eventually gets around to asking for money or something else from your friends, who are understandably confused.

How can you tell the difference between a real bout with an imposter and this current hoax?  First, if a friend claims you’ve been imitated, ask to see a link to the fake profile. That’s your best test.  You can also search for your name on Facebook and see what comes up.  If an impostor is connected to even a few of your real friends’ profiles, the fake profile will likely appear high in your searches, even if you have a common name like Bob Sullivan.

Real impostor victims should report the fake profile to Facebook’s security folks.  You do that by clicking the button that says “give feedback or report this profile” button, which is under the “…” more button on a profile page.  The first option there will be “pretending to be someone…fake profile.”

This is a good time to familiarize yourself with other Facebook safety and security settings, too.  Under settings, select “security and logins” and see a whole host of important settings.  Click on “Where you are logged in” and make sure nothing looks strange. And while you are there, turn on two-factor authentication because…why wouldn’t you?


Don’t miss a post. Sign up for my newsletter

About Bob Sullivan 1460 Articles
BOB SULLIVAN is a veteran journalist and the author of four books, including the 2008 New York Times Best-Seller, Gotcha Capitalism, and the 2010 New York Times Best Seller, Stop Getting Ripped Off! His latest, The Plateau Effect, was published in 2013, and as a paperback, called Getting Unstuck in 2014. He has won the Society of Professional Journalists prestigious Public Service award, a Peabody award, and The Consumer Federation of America Betty Furness award, and been given Consumer Action’s Consumer Excellence Award.


  1. I never believed my Life could turnout this amazing after facing a lot of issues with my Credit Score and Tax debts, as a matter of fact I just loosed my job recently, to cater for the kids is another burden on me since I’m a single mother of 4, thanks to Eric (PERFECTSMART 955 AT GMAIL DOT COM) you are such an awesome (HACKER) for fixing things up for me.

  2. I had my credit score increased from 520 to 800 with the help of private hacker. Someone from here linked me up with him, at first I was skeptical about it but I contacted him because I needed to get a loan and buy a house, now my family is happy and grateful to private hacker. I have recommended him to few of my friends and he always delivers. you can contact him through email if you need your credit fixed too. Contact privatehacker247 Gmail Com .

  3. Cyberhunters2 has been helping me for almost a year now and i feel its time to let people know about his good works,i was really a screw up but thanks to him my life is getting better, He’s helped me with a whole lot of things from clearing my records to raising my credit score and helping me unravel my ex wife’s plan by giving me access to her phone. He is really good, you should contact him via gmail if you need his help

  4. Thank you so much my friend , I contacted them via the website and after all I was assigned a programmer that handled my Credit score fix . I gladly happy to post this here . Finally I am stress free . Sniffingnose ATrepairmanDOTcom was the programmer assigned to my link . I will send screenshots to you later but I must confess that they are expensive but I cant complain regardless . 520-363-3683 was also his contact channel.

  5. I can vouch for him because I have used him to monitor my husband many time when I feel suspicious about his movements TALENTED HACKERS DO YOU REQUIRE A CERTIFIED HACKER FOR : +University grades hack, +Bank account hacks, +Control devices remotely hack, +Facebook Hacking Tricks, +Gmail, AOL, Yahoomail, inbox, hack are available, +Database hacking, +PC computer tricks +Bank transfer, Western Union, money gram, Credit Card transfer +Wiping of credit, +VPN software, +ATM Hack we are the real deal when it comes to hacking, carding, WU transfer, Money Gram transfer etc contact us now on : WHITEHATSTECH@GMAIL.COM OR +18189256165 contact him for all kind of hacking job and you will be glad you did

  6. I am a student from Qatar, I think the best places to hire a hacker will be from either deep web or Guru because guru screens their hackers very well and even gives them coding task to complete before they are hired .
    I found some hackers on there Greyhatzhackers AT gmail DOT com when I was trying to change school , and one of the services they listed was facebook hack , I suggest you make your research very well or you can simply email them to find out more about them . And besides they also got my grade change with success and that is why I am recommending them, if not I would not have tried .
    Good Luck .

  7. If you need to remove negative inquires and boost your credit score , I suggest you hire a hacker as they always have loop holes on how they do these things. I have used SniffingnoseATRepairmanDOTcom and it took 13days to get me from 430 -710 . I cant be more than exact with my word on Never give any hacker your full SSN, always give them last 4 digit .

  8. There are a lot of imposters posing as credit experts, they will only collect funds without doing any job and keep asking for more funds
    With nothing to show for it. I got ripped off twice before reaching out to aceteamcredit AT gmail DOT com, they expunged all the negatives on my credit
    Permanently and increased my score to 795. They did all of these in the space of 2 weeks , you can also reach out to them if you need your credit fixed.

  9. Hi. I ran over a generally excellent Programmer Goatse Security. They have assisted with a ton of issues like Telephone Hack, Record Hack, Clear Obligations, Evaluation update, criminal records help E.t.c They have spared my life,Contact: sgoatse (at) gmail dot com Text+12059000668 GoodLuck

  10. I have also used the services of GreyHatzHackers ( gmail) and I must confess that the only reason why I used a hacker with gmail account was because they agreed to work on my project without upfront. I took 9 hours for them to hack a phone for me , gave me the proof of content before I paid any dime to them. My advice is that you need to always make enough research before hiring a hacker because that is the only way you wont get scammed .

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.


This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.