“There is a Facebook account that pretends to be me. It includes my personal information. How do I get rid of it?” Michelle, Chelmsford
Michelle called my office a few weeks ago to inquire about how to remove a fake Facebook account. Someone had created it pretending to be her. The account even included her picture. My office has received reports of this situation in the past but we haven’t been able to determine how a hacker has been able to create an imposter account.
It is pretty difficult to diagnose and troubleshoot an issue without details. Would you go to the doctor and complain that your arm hurts and not be able to describe the pain? You need answers to the following questions to help the doctor diagnose the problem. “When does it hurt?” “Where does it hurt?”
Michelle sent email a few days ago to report how the fake account was created and how to eliminate it. My office didn’t have enough information so Michelle did all the legwork to resolve her situation. Here are the results of her detective work.
Michelle scoured the Internet for a phone number to contact Facebook customer service. She discovered that there really isn’t any official Facebook customer service. Any contact number was a 3rd party but they offered the same advice. "…have as many FB friends as possible REPORT the fake account to FB (the instructions are fairly easy within FB). They said it could take about a week to investigate and deactivate the fake account. Well, it worked!”
The fake account was removed but how did a hacker create her account? Michelle provided this information. …”about a week ago, another friend posted a warning on FB saying there is a scam within the Games apps that has a pop up … "you are not logged in and asks you to log in". This was how Michelle’s account was hacked. She recalls the pop up that prompted her for her Facebook password. She took the bait and was caught but she took action to resolve the situation.
If you do play Facebook games, don’t take the bait. If you are playing a Facebook game and a popup appears that states, “you are not logged in”, CLOSE THE BROWSER IMMEDIATELY. The browser is what you use to connect to the Internet. I could be Internet Explorer, Google Chrome, Firefox, or another browser. Reopen the browser, log into Facebook, and resume your game.
It amazes me that Facebook was considered to have such a high value. There is no customer service and appears to have no adequate security to protect game users from becoming hacked. It doesn’t sound like such a great deal if you ask me.