So, you get a friend request...

What to do when you get a friend request from someone you don't know, and there are no common friends? Or someone from a group or game you are active on? Or a friend of a friend who makes no sense as to why a request would come? Or from someone you know you are already friends with? Think before accepting - adding people for the sake of adding people is pretty certain you'll find issues pop up - you'll be cloned (someone will set up a new FB profile, pretending to be you, complete with your photo and personal information lifted from your profile), or you'll be posting scams without knowing you're posting them (thanks to a rogue friend who now has access to you), or your personal information and habits are now known by strangers (and leaving you vulnerable to burglary or worse).

If you meet someone in a group, or game, or app, you really don't know if the person is who he says he is. The person could be in there, hoping to gain rapport with others so that she can connect with all and start scamming. There is no guarantee anyone on FB is who they say they are. Even if the identity is true, that doesn't mean their motives are pure.

If you get a request from someone who you know you are already friends with, don't accept - check with your friend first, as it's likely the new request is from a clone. You can often look at their page link and notice it's different from a normal page link - not just the person's name. Sometimes, it may be legitimate (one friend forgot her password and rather than have FB get a reset, she set up a new profile).

Cloners want to pretend to be you, or anyone else, to get access to your friend list - sending friend requests to all those friends. Once a new friend list is made, then rogue posts and requests start posting - ask for money, post things to click on that are scams, or phishing schemes (to gather information from you), etc. It may look harmless, but gives a load of information to a scammer. Quizzes ask pointed questions - gathering information that will, for many people, be one of their passwords.

Sometimes a legitimate friend gets hacked - someone has logged in as that person and is posting things that wouldn't be posted by the real person. If you see such, alert your friend in a way not connected to Facebook - email, phone call, text, or Messenger.

Rogue friends are not only harmful to you, but also to your friends. Once your make a friend, that person has access to all your friends - and anyone who hasn't made their friend list private, is also vulnerable to being cloned. Your friends are also going to be contacted to friend "you" once you get cloned.

I'm expecting more cloning and scamming to happen from these associations. I would suggest you do what I've done - make your info private to only your friends and make your friend list private to you only.

If you have posted quizzes with a load of your information, or made notes on Facebook with lots of personal information - get rid of anything that contains information you would use as a password or password phrase.

FB is full of scammers, spammers, and cloners. Be vigilant. Don't give them all your information. Don't click on posts - many, if not most, will try to get information from you (your passwords, access to your profile, for example). A quiz that asks for a lot of personal information (giving a load of information to be able to guess passwords) is rarely a good thing to answer. Posting when you are on vacation tells people you aren't home - your posts come down other peoples' feeds when their common friends "like" or comment or react to your post. When accepting an app, or becoming a member of a group (that may be shady), your information and permissions often go along to the people who run the app. Rogue people can gather so much information from lurking on FB.

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