Facebook is a breeding ground for hacks and scams, but there’s one warning circulating through the Messenger app that you should ignore. As WIBW reports, the Facebook “double friend request” hack is actually a hoax, and law enforcement officials are urging users to stop spreading misinformation about it on social media.
The chain message starts by saying, “Hi… I actually got another friend request from you yesterday,” and it usually comes from someone you’ve already connected with. It then urges you to check your account and forward the warning to other people on your friends list, even if you haven’t received duplicate friend requests from them yet.
If you’ve received this text from a friend, they likely never got a second friend request from you: They just passed along the warning because the message told them to do so.
It’s easy to see how users would fall for the hoax. Account “cloning” is a real practice where hackers steal users’ photographs and personal details to create an identical account. This fake profile can then be used to trick the user’s friends into spreading malware and handing over sensitive information.
If your account has been cloned, your friends likely won’t send you a canned chain message to notify you. But if you do receive the message above and want to confirm whether or not it’s a hoax, you can always try searching your name on Facebook and report any duplicate profiles you find.
This latest warning comes just days after Facebook’s ‘Secret Sister‘ gift exchange scam reemerged, which encourages users to send a $10 gift with the promise of receiving up to dozens of gifts in exchange. The set-up sounds appealing, but it’s actually just a spin on the classic pyramid scheme. Even in the social media world: If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is.