What to do if your Facebook Profile was Cloned (you weren’t hacked)

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The difference between being hacked or cloned

Being hacked is when you no longer have access or control of your account, or someone else is posting using your account. This is more serious than if your personal profile has been cloned. It is also much more rare due to the increased security at Facebook.

This article is NOT for those who have been hacked. The process to follow should your Facebook account be hacked is complex and here is the expert advice → Facebook Account Hacked Tutorial.

Being cloned is when someone has created an imposter Facebook profile using your name, profile image, and other distinguishing content that’s been lifted from your public profile. It’s a clone of your account, not a hack into your actual account. This article is for cloned accounts, not hacked accounts.

Usually the way you discover this is by those cloned accounts contacting your friends via a private message or by a friend request. You can also do a search to see if anyone is cloning you, although the real challenging clone artists block your account from viewing the clone of your account. So you have to rely on your friends to go to that clone and report that account to Facebook.

Image Credit Pexels

Step-By-Step Method to Report the Cloned Account

Once you learn about a clone of your account, you should act fast to report them. Ask your friends to report them as well, but to be extra careful not to mistakenly report your real account. Here’s what you need to do:

Step 1: Confirm the Clone exists

Do a search on Facebook to look at the cloned account. If you are doing this for the first time you may be shocked to discover how many people share your exact name. Don’t be alarmed, it’s not uncommon to have many people sharing the same name.

The key here is whether they have used your profile images or photos of you or your friends. Typically, Facebook puts your own profile at the top of search results or your actual friend with a little note saying, “friends”. Don’t report your friend’s real profile.

If you are searching for a clone of a friend’s profile, then make sure the account you locate isn’t currently your friend. It should have the “add friend” button if they are not currently your friend. Here’s an example:

In this example, if you are actually a friend of this profile, the “add friend” button would not be shown. If you are the person who was cloned, then obviously you can’t “add friend” yourself, so this is a clone of your account if the profile image and your name matches your profile name and image.

Once you have confirmed that a clone of your profile or a clone of your friend exists, the next step is to Report the Clone to Facebook.

Step 2: Open the Report Profile Window

Ensure that you are currently viewing the clone and not the real person’s account, and click on the 3-dots to the right of the “message” button on the cloned profile. This will reveal the “manage” window as shown below.

Click on “Find support or report profile” which should be the top option:

Step 3: Select “Pretending to Be Someone” Option

Click on the “Pretending to Be Someone” option which should be the very top option as shown in the image below.

Step 4: Select “Me” or “A friend”

If the clone is of a friend, simply click on the “A friend” option. If the clone is of your profile, click “me”.

Step 5: Telling Facebook “which friend”

If you’re reporting your own profile has been cloned, you won’t see this step in the process. This is for reporting that one of your friend’s profiles has been cloned.

This is where you enter your friend’s name. Once you start typing, friends will start populating the window. Click on the friend that’s been cloned.

Step 6: Confirming the Fake Account goes against Standards

If you are certain the clone isn’t your friend then it definitely goes against community standards. This step also asks if you want to receive notifications. Uncheck the box if you don’t want notifications and click “submit”.

Step 7: Report Sent to Facebook

Nothing to do in this step except click “Next” to open the final option.

Step 8: To Block or Not

You need to decide if you want the person who cloned your friend or you to be able to continue collecting your profile data. I would suggest you block them immediately.

In this case, it was a friend of mine named “Rush”. In your case t will show the cloned account name which will be your friend’s name. Just click “Block ____”.

All done!

That’s it! You’re done. You should see this final message and receive a notification if you chose to receive notifications on this report.

The final message may seem confusing because it is worded wrong. It usually says, “one of your friends reported _________ for pretending to be you.” even if you are the one reporting the clone of your friend. Not sure why they’ve never fixed that. In any case, no worries.

Email or Facebook Final Notification

You should get a notification via Facebook and/or email letting you know they received your report which has the correct details regarding your friend’s account being cloned (see below).

They will contact your friend to let them know and handle it from there.

I hope this helps. Have a great day!

Image credit Pexels

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