Watch CBS News

Hackers Using Facebook To Clone Profiles

By David Spunt

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) -- The next time you get an email, or a friend request on Facebook, stop and think for a few seconds. The sender may not be who you think they are, even if you recognize the name.

"Someone assumed my profile on Facebook and started to go through my friend list and make friend requests," Sara Visomirski told Eyewitness News.

Visomirski is the Creative Services Director at CBS 3 and happens to be the latest in a long list of victims who essentially have their identity stolen on Facebook.

"I definitely think it's weird because I was able to see the profile that was my name and my photo," Visomirski said.

Visomirski says her Facebook friends started getting requests and messages from her, but it wasn't her. She believes it happened because her profile was public, meaning strangers could see her photos and friend list.

"It's so important for people who use Facebook and Twitter to understand what they are making public versus private," cybersecurity attorney Leeza Garber told Eyewitness News.

Garber says what's happening on Facebook also happens on emails in the workplace and at home.

"Whether it's just personal information about their birthday or their social security number or their address, hackers can use that information to try to answer security questions to get into bank accounts or other social media accounts," Garber said.

Garber says one of her clients responded to a bogus email in disguise.

"They unfortunately responded to the email because they thought it was a rush emergency situation and ended up giving a lot of tax information for the employees within the company," she said.

Garber says the best thing to do is to check your privacy settings on social media and email immediately.

View CBS News In
CBS News App Open
Chrome Safari Continue
Be the first to know
Get browser notifications for breaking news, live events, and exclusive reporting.