A 27-year-old U.K. woman learned the hard way to protect her Facebook photos when she found a hoax Tinder profile using her pics. The woman, who found out about the imposter after receiving a screenshot from a friend, was understandably horrified.
“This is a situation that many women can relate to and it is sadly more common than people may think,” Dr. Laura Toogood, managing director at Digitalis, told The Telegraph. “It is a frightening reality that you can have your private photos, and other information, used and distributed without your knowledge or permission. The security issues surrounding this type of identity theft can be wide ranging.”
The woman’s Facebook profile was linked to a business she owned, so she was reluctant to shut down her account completely. She contacted both Tinder and Facebook to notify them of the fraud, though she said both platforms told her she needed to provide all the account information for the fake profile. A Tinder spokesperson also told The Telegraph that anyone who finds a fake Tinder profile of themselves should contact Facebook; since the app takes all of its information from Facebook, that means the victim is also being impersonated on the site.
All told, the best way to avoid this kind of scary scam is to completely lock down the privacy settings on your Facebook photos, and diligently watch for any stray pictures of yourself to pop up in your Newsfeed. Of course, that’s small consolation for the victim in this case.
“I am powerless to stop it. But what feels even worse is that these technology companies that could help me, won’t do it,” she said. “The whole thing is horrifying.”
Always remember that your profile picture and cover photo are public and this can’t be changed. Also, be sure to use the audience selector tool for all of your photos and posts.