Identify Theft has migrated over to social media profiles and is something everyone should be alert to. The concept is running rampant and should be on your radar when engaging in cyberspace!
Individuals participating in social media need to be watching for people and profiles that that don’t make sense. If you are managing your own social media accounts, you may know or have some relationship with people in your circles, followers, friends or connections. Having a strategy of the people you connect with and engage with makes sense when trying to build a group of supporters for your business, product or service. There is a saying…. if it waddles and it quacks, it’s a duck! Don’t be fooled by Identity Theft of social media profiles.
3 simple questions to ask before you circle, follow or like someone:
- Is the profile or about page complete and do I relate to this person?
- What does their stream look like and what do they post?
- Why would I want to connect with this person?
When building your sphere of social influence, just adding numbers of followers/friends/circles for numbers sake is NOT the way to grow an “Organic” following. The goal might be to have raving fans that appreciate the content you share over social media and then in turn add value for help with the new Hummingbird algorithm that Google has moved to for “Semantic Search.” Selecting specific people that meet your guidelines will have you grow your business and share your same values.
All this comes back to who you are connecting with, keeping your eyes open and your 6th sense working for people who might not have your best interest at heart.
On Tuesday, January 21 my identity was stolen on facebook and an individual was was posting as me adding all my friends as a new account. He had taken my profile picture, my cover photo and several of my past photos along with my employment history and was acting as Carra Riley. The name on the new account with my stolen identify was Carra Riley Riley. The thief was smart as he used my name and put the middle name as Riley because when facebook shortens the name it shows Carra Riley with my profile so everyone thought it was me and had no idea it was identity theft of my profile.
At 6:15 am I was awakened by a call from Virgil Cowen a member of the Photo Tour Global Directory™ and photographer in Southern California. He apologized for calling me so early but felt that I needed to know that someone had stolen my identity and was engaging with friends that had accepted him in private messages indicating he was from a government agency and had free Federal Grant money which would only be available by filling out a personal questionnaire. Virgil was the first to let me know about the Identity theft of my social media profile on facebook by the name of Carra Riley Riley. A big thank you goes out to Virgil Cowen for picking up the phone and letting me know so early. It could have been 9:30 or 10 before I would have logged into facebook and many more friends might have been lured in by this fake social media profile of me. If you see a fake profile or what looks like a fake profile trying to engage with you just pick up the phone and call your friend! You could save them many hours of anxiety by getting right to work to stop the profile from engaging from the identity theft.
Tric Ortez is another facebook/social media friend from Florida and she was alerting me to this scam on instant messaging when I opened facebook. She took the time to share a post on her “Tricnology” blog, the conversation that went on between the fake profile Carra Riley Riley and the end user of my facebook friend names Mr. Juwen Smith. Yes, Smith might be the first clue in that conversation that the profile might not be legitimate among other things link spelling and grammar. Tric, thank you for taking the time to share with screen shots your online experience. We need a world of helpers watching our backs when we are engaging in cyberspace.
The feeling of helplessness is overwhelming when you see your picture and someone posing as you, writing bizarre things on the internet to friends that you know.
Immediately a post went up on the facebook account indicating to friends that there had been an identity theft of my profile using my picture and the name Carra Riley Riley and not to friend this person.
The process to terminate a false identity on facebook has to commence from the person who has experienced the identify theft. Friends of the person with the stolen identity profile ALSO need to REPORT the fake profile FIRST and then block once they have realized the Identity Theft has taken place. The process is identified with screen shots below.
The stolen social media profile starts friending all of the original profiles friends. The friends think that the person is starting a new account as they recognize the stolen profile picture and maybe event the cover photo from the friends page. Without thinking sometimes friends will accept the new friendship request and that is when the direct messaging starts with the request for information for the free money or a link to something special which can sometime connect to a phishing scheme.
FAKE profile asks to friend you.
The steps to follow to Get facebook to CLOSE this fake account… the first thing you will see is a new request from Carra Riley as a friend.. the first clue is the name Carra Riley Riley There are 2 Rileys.. this is very sneaky as when you go through the process further they just use her name without the middle Riley and you might think it is Carra. What you are going to do is OPEN THE ACCOUNT to be able to report it.. don’t block it from here or they account will not be closed by FB REORT FIRST then BLOCK after reporting!
OPEN THE ACCOUNT by clicking on the name Carra Riley Riley… it will not hurt you our your account. The fake account will look like her cover photo, her photos from albums and her background.. so it does look like Carra Riley… but it is NOT…… This is the False Identity of Carra Riley Riley
Once you open the fake Carra Riley Riley account go to the “gear” on the right and click the drop down menu to Report and or Block The content looks like it is Carra Riley as the middle Riley is deleted when you look at the time line.
When you click on Report and/or Block This Person the drop down menu comes up and you need to click Submit a Report and then click Report Carra Riley’s account.. Remember you are reporting the FAKE Carra Riley Riley account but again it looks like her with the name. Just make sure you are on the Carra Riley Riley profile.
This is very important you tell facebook that this profile is pretending to be someone you know. Be sure to find the real account Carra Riley in the auto populate area so facebook knows the real Carra Riley has had Identity Theft with her profile.
Then screen comes up to let the REAL Carra Riley know you turned the fake profile in.
NOW go back to the Fake Carra Riley Riley profile and click Report/Block again so you can BLOCK the fake profile. You do this AFTER you have reported the identity theft.
BLOCK Carra Riley Riley and you will be done with this Fake profile account..
Once facebook has processed the claim from YOU the person who is being impersonated AND your friends have also reported the fake profile the stolen identity account will be deleted from facebook!
Feel free to share this to help with awareness of the New Identify Theft on social media profiles. Be sure to watch all your accounts on Twitter, Google+ etc. and think before friending, circling or liking new accounts!
Remember when someone has photos like this on their profile account and it seems too good to be true…. it’s too good to be true..
Watch out for the Juwen Smith profile on facebook who is promising the free government money.
Should you experience Social Media Identity Theft and your friends accept the fake profile friendship, send those friends a private message or mention to them on your stream the fake profile has friended them and what they need to do to REPORT the fraud and then block them. Big thanks to Chris Riedel from Chicago Title in Lake Havasu City, Arizona for sharing that tip with me and posting on his facebook to let our mutual friends know about the identity theft. It was easy to go on the fake profile and capture the names of the 46 friends that had friended him the day before.
As the Cosmic Shift Happens™ you may want to read about how subtle the scams are and how easy it is to be sucked into a trap. Being careful and taking a step back before acting will help keep you from experiencing SMS or Social Media Syndrome™. Keeping a good positive attitude when strange things happen will help you to create balance in the Cosmic Cow Pie™ of life!
Identity theft on social media profiles is rampant so think about what you are reading from someone you know and question if things make sense before acting.