Another Facebook-Related Scam Targets Many…Including Me!

by Chris Bjorklund


In the past month, I’ve had at least three friends alert me that someone is impersonating me on the Facebook Messenger app. They started receiving strange messages that appeared to be sent by me but were out of character. At first the messages were friendly banter, but then the impersonator started describing a “deal” or a way to get grant/FEMA money. Sadly, one acquaintance took the bait and sent $1,000 to apply for FEMA funds. He never tracked down the scammer and Facebook didn’t help him at all. 

What I’ve learned from this experience is that it’s very easy to take someone’s name and picture and impersonate them on Messenger. Unfortunately, it’s a widespread scam. Most people think they’ve been hacked and change their password to protect their identity (I did), but that doesn’t help—messages can still be sent in your name. 

If this happens to you, the good news is that you haven’t been hacked. The consumer experts I consulted say that if a friend warns you about strange messages they’re getting from you, tell them to check if your name appears on the messages list more than once. If it appears twice, there’s a fake account in your name. Ask them to block the fake account and report it to Facebook. 

You might be amused at how one of my friends decided to mess with the fake Chris Bjorklund who was messaging him. He decided to keep chatting and eventually told the impersonator that he had some good news. He said it was the scammer’s lucky day—she’d been selected to help pay off all his student loans for law school! The fake didn’t respond. Instead, my friend’s account was blocked!  

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