A clone hoax is tricking Facebook users – here’s what you need to know

By Jamie Harris, Press Association Technology reporter

A new Facebook hoax is leading users to believe their account on the social network has been cloned.

The hoax comes in the form of a chain message, which suggests that the sender received a duplicate friend request from the recipient and asks users to forward it onto other friends.

“Hi…. I actually got another friend request from you yesterday…which I ignored so you may want to check your account,” the message reads.

“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!”

Cloning is when someone copies photos and information on a person and creates a fake account in their name, usually in an effort to trick friends into revealing more information about you.

However, there is nothing to suggest the message currently doing the rounds is anything more than a prank, as there are no instructions or malicious links.

Facebook users believe their account has been cloned (Niall Carson/PA)

“We’ve heard some people are seeing posts or messages about accounts being cloned on Facebook,” a spokesman for the company said.

“It takes the form of a chain mail type of notice. People have told us they don’t like seeing the same post a lot of people are copying and pasting on to Facebook.

“So if enough people post the same long post, it could show up lower in people’s news feeds.

“Claiming to be another person on Facebook violates our community standards, and we have a dedicated team that’s tasked with helping to detect and block these kinds of scams.

“We have made several recent improvements to combat impersonation, including image recognition technology, automation to detect scams, and improved reporting abilities.”

There is no evidence to suggest the incident is related to the recent security breach on the social network, which affected 50 million users.

People were logged out of their accounts after Facebook discovered the issue, after hackers exploited a vulnerability in Facebook’s code involving the View As feature, which lets people see what their own profile looks like to someone else.