Online Cloning – someone lifts your photo(s) and name from your FB account. Then they access your friend list and send out invitations to them, pretending to be you. Some will accept the request and others may report the profile, or let you know. The cloner does not need to access or log in too your profile – just copy things from it. Often their objective is to try to ask for money or some other type scam, and other times they lurk around doing nothing (until they eventually decide to – maybe waiting to build trust first). The cloner might just stay silent but continue to clone more people who accept the invitation until he feels he has the best one to run his scam on.
If you get cloned, you are probably not hacked, but do change your password in any case just to be certain (you should change it up pretty often, anyway). Report the profile to Facebook – hit the 3 dots on the right of the menu (after “check-ins” and “more” or after “message” on iPhone app). You will see a choice of block or report the profile, etc. – hit the one with “report a profile” in the choice, then answer the questions – “impersonating” and tell them who. FB will usually delete the account fairly soon. Once in a while, they leave it there because they can’t verify it is a clone. A few days ago, I got a verification email from FB saying they were contacting the real friend to confirm – but I replied and said the person passed away so they can’t verify with her – and that’s why it’s obvious she was cloned.
One way to minimize online cloning incidents is to make your friend list and photos (even posts) private to either only you, or only you and your friends. Then a stranger can’t pull them up and it’s useless to know who invitations can be sent to, if no friend list to access. They could go through comments and likes and such to collect people but it’s more work than is worth it – easier to find another victim. They can lift your profile photo to use so others think it’s you – I see more people taking their photo off and being a generic drawing (probably from being cloned before). IF you have strangers in your friend list, one of them could be a cloner and then gain access (but if your friends list is private only to you, the cloner still can’t access it unless they get your password).
Set your profile sections to private (to only you or you and friends), don’t accept random stranger requests, and report all online cloning incidents. Minimize being a victim of cloning. PR Online Games, Surveys, and Quizzes – Their Dangers FB Friend CompromiseRogue Friend RequestsMessenger “Hack”Social Media Scam TipsSecurity Questions on WebsitesDon’t Post or Broadcast Your TripsEditing Posts and Comments – Please!Problem Friends on Facebook?