If you’re like me, you can’t always remember who is in your Facebook friend’s list. Now and again I’ll get a friend request from someone I could’ve sworn was already in my list. Usually it’s someone who took a break from Facebook, then came back and started reconnecting.
But be careful. That unexpected friend request could be an impostor, out to fool you and your real Facebook friends. Check and be sure that person isn’t already in your friend’s list. There is a common problem on Facebook right now involving fake Facebook profiles, using someone else’s name, contact information, photos and more.
They could be out to spam you and your friends with advertising. They could have a shady “offer” of some kind that will involve you sending them money. They could also be planning to pull the emergency or “grandparent” scam on your friends (the one where they’re a friend or relative in trouble in another country and need money fast, PS, don’t tell Mom, just wire the money).
If you get friend request from a Facebook impostor, BBB has the following advice:
- Report the it to Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/help/167722253287296/
- Spread the word to your friends that there is a fake profile so they don’t put themselves at risk by accepting the friend request.
- Contact your local law enforcement authorities. Fake profiles can be considered identity theft, harassment, and cyber bullying. In many jurisdictions, this is punishable by law.