Fake Facebook profiles could expose you to identity theft - WBRC FOX6 News - Birmingham, AL

Fake Facebook profiles could expose you to identity theft


If your Facebook page is being bombarded with friend requests from people you don't know, watch out. Experts say scammers are trying to turn a digital friendship into something far worse.

You might notice that the friend request is coming from a profile that just seems a little off, whether it's the photo, the name or some of the details on the page.

The person may not even seem like a real person, and it might not be, said Metro Police Lt. Grant Carroll.

"Many people use beautiful women as an angle in order to lure less discerning men into accepting them as friends," said Carroll, an expert in investigating white-collar crimes.

The fake profiles often use stock photos and try to make a connection with people who have lots of real-life friends. That gives them access to their friends, and that opens the door to possible identity fraud.

"If you have your name, and many people put their date-of-birth on their Facebook pages, your hometown, maybe even where you currently work. With that information, they could assume your identity," Carroll said.

Kathleen Calligan, CEO of the Better Business Bureau of Middle Tennessee, says people have just become too comfortable on Facebook.

And though you might be wise enough to not fall into more noticeable scams through email or phone calls, you could be the type of person who spills all of your personal life onto Facebook and then accept friend requests from strangers.

"We don't have the good common sense we might have in a normal business transaction," Calligan said. "We have given hackers the best road to become us. It's very easy."

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