Profile Cloning: Is Your Identity Being Stolen by a Copycat?

What is Profile Cloning?

Profile cloning is different from profile hacking.  When someone hacks your profile, they gain access to your profile by getting your sign-in information.  This information is usually your password and username or your password and email address.

However, when someone clones your profile, they make a duplicate copy of your profile.  A cloned profile is easy to create.  The person simply downloads you profile picture from your profile.  Then they upload the same picture to the cloned profile.  They use your name.  Therefore, the profile looks the same as your profile.

Why is Cloning a Problem?

When someone hacks your profile, you usually see them posting things that you did not post.

However, when they clone your profile, you may never see what they are posting.  Sometimes, cloners will block you from seeing the cloned profile.  Therefore, you may not know that you profile is cloned.

Then the cloners invite people who trust you to connect with them.  From there, the cloners can phish for information and work various scams.

How do I report a cloned account?

Go to the cloned account.  To the right of the message box you will see three dots.  Click the dots.

In the dropdown menu, select “Report.”  Follow the instructions from there.

But what if the cloner has block me?

If the cloner has blocked you from reaching the cloned profile, have a friend report the clone to Facebook.

How do I know that the cloned profile report reached Facebook?

The person who reported the clone will get this nice card in their Facebook feed: “Thanks for Making Facebook Better.”

They will also get a nice email from Facebook:

“Hi _________,

Thanks for letting us know about someone impersonating your friend on Facebook. Reports like yours are an important part of keeping Facebook a safe and welcoming community.

Since this is happening to your friend, we’re going to close your report and follow up with your friend directly once we’ve reviewed the account.

Thanks again,
The Facebook Team”

The procedures are similar on LinkedIn.