Have you ever had the bizarre experience of receiving an online friend request…from yourself?

Who Is It Targeting: Social media users

What Is It: A friend request from someone you think you know—or might even be—but that is really a scammer’s fake account

What Are They After: Social media scams are a dime a dozen, but one popular category of scams involves sending out friend requests through “masked” or copied accounts. Once you accept the person’s friend request, not only can you be tricked into providing money or personal information about yourself, but they can also work their way through your contacts list to find new victims.

How Can You Avoid It:

  • Any time you’re contacted and asked for money or your personal information, stop and think it through.
  • When in doubt, don’t accept the friend request, especially if it’s someone you think you’ve already connected with before.
  • Go check your friends’ list and look for the legitimate account; if you do find that you’re still connected to your friend, you can report the fake account to Facebook easily.

If you think you may be a victim of identity theft, contact the Identity Theft Resource Center for toll-free, no-cost assistance at (888) 400-5530. Find more information about current scams and alerts here. For full details of this scam check out this article from USAToday.

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