As the largest social network in the world, Facebook is host to virtually countless forms of scamming and criminality. But one of the creepiest cons involves cybercriminals stealing people’s photos to impersonate them. This often happens in scams where the con artist is pretending to be in the military or in need of money for a family or a sick child. That may have been the case when a North Carolina woman recently found photos of her three children displayed in the profile photo of a strange man who lived 300 miles away.
The woman, Becky Smith, said she immediately reported the images to Facebook. She even sent the account a personal message begging its owner to remove the photos. However, Facebook didn’t lift a finger to help her — until her story made the news.
“I got two responses from Facebook today saying that they didn’t think anything was wrong… that they investigated it and that that person was not trying to pretend to be me,” Smith said. “I just want the picture taken down. I mean I just really wish that Facebook would make him take it down and just be more mindful of things like this that happen.”
To stop this kind of scam from happening to you, it’s important to maintain tight control over your photos’ privacy settings. Make sure only your friends can see them, and if possible, upload smaller photos that are harder to grab and use.
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