How to Stop Spammers From Stealing Your Facebook Identity

1594411528_1512b1aad5_z
If you’re on Facebook, you’ve probably seen something like this lately:

Someone is posing as Jane Alvarez on Facebook. If you get a friend request from her, don’t accept. It’s a fake!

If I could find a way to get a dollar every time I’ve seen this lately, I could hire a peon to type blog posts for me. It’s an epidemic. Someone steals your name and profile picture, and then sends friend requests to all of your existing friends. Your existing friends see that friend request, and they accept, because they know and like you. Then the scammer sends them a direct message asking them for money, or asking them to click on some sketchy website, or whatever. It’s a problem, and it’s really creepy when it happens to you.

Here’s the thing, though: Crooks can take your photo and your name, but they’ll only do so if they can send friend requests to all of your friends. If your friend list isn’t available, you’re useless to them, because they need to be able to contact people who trust you. That means hiding your friend list so it can’t be seen by strangers is your best (and easiest) defense against this type of scam. There’s really no good reason to have your friends list available to the public anyway. It’s good for scammers, but it does nothing for you.

Here’s how to hide your Facebook friend list:

Go to your own profile page. Right under your cover photo, you’ll see links to About, Photos, and Friends. Click Friends.

FacebookFriends1

 

On the far right, you’ll see a little pencil. Click it. That will give you a link to Edit Privacy. Click that too.

FacebookFriends2

 

You’ll get a pop-up window. The first option will be about who can see your Friends list. You can click the drop-down menu on the left to choose Public, Friends, or Only Me. Mine is set to Friends, because I’m fine with my friends being able to see each other (that way my genealogy friends, HR friends, real-life friends and family, and old classmates can find and connect with each other). If you really want to be stealth, you can set it to Only Me. If it’s set to Public, though, anyone can see it. That makes you a target for scammers.

FacebookFriends3

 

That’s all you have to do. Problem solved!

Photo by Don Hankins

Get more stuff like this

Don't miss a thing. Subscribe to new posts via email.

7 Responses

  1. Emily Garber 11 months ago
    • Kerry Scott 11 months ago
  2. Jana Last 11 months ago
  3. Susan Partlan 11 months ago
  4. Debi Austen 11 months ago
  5. JessB 10 months ago

Add Comment

Web Statistics
2604811407_0a9328103f_o
BREAKING: Clue Wagon is Now a Dating Website
4482942978_c4347b15fe_z
Ancestor Hate Mail
Ancestry DDoS attack
8 Theories on the REAL Reason for the Ancestry.com Outage
8409353231_68d3062177_z
Confession: I’m a GeneaFreak in My Sleep
4400388995_af65ba1fae_z
Can We Stop Calling Grandma a Whore?
Ancestry DDoS attack
8 Theories on the REAL Reason for the Ancestry.com Outage
5027161428_f762af4ce5_z
Why Don’t People Post Public Family Trees?
3366720659_b746789dfd_z
Confession: I Hate Free Genealogy Stuff
Family History Library Visitor Tips
9 Things You Need To Know Before You Go to RootsTech/FGS
1594411528_1512b1aad5_z
How to Stop Spammers From Stealing Your Facebook Identity
nelson-scheiber-wedding-minneapolis
Guerrilla Genealogy: Hunting Down Wedding Guests
4212380812_a008fbbf06_z
Dead People, Dead People, Dead People, SQUIRREL!
Mad-Men-DNA-Genealogy
How Mad Men Will Really End—With a Shaky Leaf
7464252264_a12645770a_k
Why Your DNA Test Results Are Wrong
Horrified Senior Woman
Clue: Your Ancestry Username and Your Pee-Oh-R-N Username Should Not Be The Same
4400388995_af65ba1fae_z
Can We Stop Calling Grandma a Whore?
7512877940_2720e3be12_z
Want a Full Refund on Your NewspaperArchive.com Subscription? Just Ask About Their Charity.
3366720659_b746789dfd_z
Confession: I Hate Free Genealogy Stuff
250436252_11e6b00028_z
O Come, All Ye Drama Llamas
6587951925_169aa0d54f_z
Is Making Money From Your Blog Still a Thing?
4482942978_c4347b15fe_z
Ancestor Hate Mail
1594411528_1512b1aad5_z
How to Stop Spammers From Stealing Your Facebook Identity
Ancestry DDoS attack
8 Theories on the REAL Reason for the Ancestry.com Outage
7512877940_2720e3be12_z
Want a Full Refund on Your NewspaperArchive.com Subscription? Just Ask About Their Charity.