Facebook is a fun and easy way of keeping in touch with friends and family, but sadly there are strangers lurking in corners of the web looking to ruin the experience.
With your personal details and information about your interests, as well as your photos, Facebook can attract criminals.
One of the issues that could occur is impersonation - where a nefarious person sets up an account pretending to be you, using your name, photos and other details.
Friends could add this fake account and be tricked into clicking potentially harmful links or sharing sensitive information thinking that it’s you. If you’ve found out that your account has been impersonated, here’s what you should do:
Tip 1 – Stay calm
The idea of someone impersonating you can be really alarming and scary. As hard as it may be, avoid becoming stressed and keep your cool. Find comfort in the fact that you’ve found out and are able to take action.
Tip 2 – Report it to Facebook
To report the account, go to the profile page from a PC.
To the right of the Cover Photo you’ll see a … icon. Click on it and select Report.
A box will appear. Choose Report this account and click Continue.
On the next screen, select This Timeline is pretending to be me or someone I know.
Next choose Me, if it’s you who is being impersonated.
If you’re doing it on behalf of someone else, select Someone I know.
Click Submit to Facebook for Review and click Done. Facebook will look into your report and decide whether it’s a genuine claim.
Tip 3 – Alert Facebook friends
Write a status on your own Facebook account explaining briefly what has happened, telling friends to block the fake account. You can copy the following message if you like:
Hello everyone! Someone has impersonated me on Facebook – please reject any friend requests claiming to be from me and delete and block them if you’ve already added them. This is my only active account.
Tip 4 – Ensure your account is locked down
So how did the person get hold of all this information in the first place? It could be that your Facebook account is open to the public.
Tip 5 – Change your password
To make sure someone hasn’t managed to hack your account to impersonate you, it’s probably best to change your password.
Tip 6 – Consider leaving Facebook for good
If this was too distressing for you, it might be worth considering leaving Facebook for good. If that’s something you want to do, read our guide here.
Has your Facebook account been impersonated? Let us know how you went about fixing it in the Comments section below.