Don’t forward the ‘friend request’ message on Facebook, it’s a hoax

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INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. – It’s the latest chain message making its way from inbox to inbox on Facebook. The message makes users think their account has been hacked or cloned. In reality, it’s all a hoax.

“It’s more of an annoyance at this point,” said Damien Sullivan, Security Operations Manager at Rook Security.  “People are getting spammed with all these messages saying ‘hey, you sent me a friend request.’”

The message reads, “Hi…I actually got another friend request from you yesterday…which I ignored so you may want to check your account. Hold your finger on the message until the forward button appears…then hit forward and all the people you want to forward too…I had to do the people individually.  Good Luck!”

Sullivan says the reading or forwarding the message doesn’t compromise your account. However the prank is reminder to be careful, and it provides an example of what a fake message usually looks like.

“Typically you’ll see bad grammar, bad punctuation, it will be a little confusing, and it just doesn’t feel right,” Sullivan said of spam messages.

Sullivan says they often target people’s fear that their account has been hacked. After Facebook announced late last month that a security breach affected nearly 50 million users, that fear is growing.

To see where your account is currently active, click the drop down menu in the top right corner. Click “settings”, then click “security and log in.”
You then can see every device where your account is currently logged in. If you don’t recognize one of them, report it immediately.

To limit the chance of someone else making an account pretending to be you, you should keep everything private including your list of friends. You can also set up two-step authentication.

“Personally, I always tell people not to completely fill out their Facebook profile,” said Sullivan. “They don’t need to know where you live, they don’t need to know your birthday. Any sort of personal information that gets out there, when something like a Facebook hack occurs, then you’re at risk.”

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