Imagine going through your Facebook feed and then suddenly seeing your photo and your name on the “People you may know” list. You know you don’t have another Facebook account and you click on your second profile.
You’re shocked by what you see. Photos from your original account are posted. Your friends are on the list and they’ve been commenting on the photos. And the person who’s impersonating you has been responding to the comments as though it was you!
Why would someone create a fake social media account?
- The person impersonating you (identity thief) could be trying to use your identity for financial gains.
- They could try to change your postal address to have your mail directed to them, to steal confidential information such as bank statements, insurance, etc.
- They could be trying to destroy your reputation, career or relationships by posing as you and even posting false comments about other people.
- They may post lewd edited photos of you.
- They could be interested in stalking or harassing you.
- They could be trying to get personal information about you from your online friends.
What should you do?
Social networks such as Facebook, Instagram and Twitter have a feature where you can report fake accounts.
Take basic steps to protect yourself such as:
- Setting your profile to private
- Adding only friends and family you communicate with
- Being selective with the photos that you post online