I accepted a fake Facebook friend request, should I be afraid?

Graham Cluley
@gcluley

Should you be afraid if an imposter duplicates a friend’s Facebook account and connects with you on the social network?

That’s the question I was asked on Twitter this weekend, and I thought rather than try to squeeze my response to Michael into 140 characters it probably warranted a few more bytes worth of attention.

The short answer as to whether you should be afraid or not, even if you have since unfriended the bogus user, is “possibly”.

First things first, why might someone have created an account in the name of somebody you know and attempted to trick you into accepting them as a friend? Here are some possibilities:

  • Stalker. We don’t know who it is who is trying to enter your circle of friends on Facebook, but it could be someone who wants to track your activity without you know. Possibilities include a jealous partner you’ve fallen out with, a rival in love or…

Read more in my article on the Naked Security website.

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Graham Cluley is a veteran of the anti-virus industry having worked for a number of security companies since the early 1990s when he wrote the first ever version of Dr Solomon's Anti-Virus Toolkit for Windows. Now an independent security analyst, he regularly makes media appearances and is an international public speaker on the topic of computer security, hackers, and online privacy. Follow him on Twitter at @gcluley, or drop him an email.

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