Because of me having to work full time on the weeks to come, I promised myself that I would not be using my phone, or scan Facebook, or post pictures on Instagram while I am with my daughter.
When she joined her father in the bath today, I did a quick “sneak” on Facebook.
Yes, I know. I guess I am addicted.
Then I found this:
Identity Theft – Not Me
I was momentarily dazed! Could it be that I was logged on to my blog’s Facebook account that morning? But wait, where was my husband’s last name?
I scrolled up. No. I was logged as myself.
Hmmm.. something is wrong here, I said to myself.
I checked: the account had my maiden name, the same profile picture and the same cover picture of my daughter.
The picture of my daughter.
Facebook said that we have 11 mutual friends! One very close Godmother included!
The fraudster had successfully added some of my friends and relatives.
So I went into action:
1. I posted the above picture in my FB status with the following caption:
Guys, I found this profile in Facebook that has my name and already added 5 of my relatives and friends. Please beware! Am using my husband’s last name and not my maiden name. Whoever this is, please, don’t add!
2. I submitted a report to Facebook about a person pretending to be me.
3. I changed my profile picture.
4. I changed my cover photo to a drawing that my daughter and I made.
5. I sent a message to the fraudster with the question: “Who is this?” (Of course, I did not receive any reply).
5. I changed my Facebook name.
6. I changed the settings of my Facebook privacy and set almost everything to “Only Me.”
7. Replied to the comments which were rapidly adding up as responses to my Facebook Status. Found out that the fraudster tried to add and chat to a lot more people – including my aunt and my closest friends.
8. Hid all my photo albums in Facebook prioritizing those of my daughter’s.
9. Hid as much personal details as possible.
9. Replied to friend’s chats. And one super friend sent this:
The fraudster said that “I” was deleting inactive contacts from my Facebook and that “I” was trying to add those that “I” had accidentally deleted back.
Tagalog. A Filipino. What a shame.
My friend also tried to locate the IP address used: the fraudster was located in Manila, Philippines.
10. Checked the report I submitted to Facebook help 2 hours after. The status still said “Being Reviewed.”
Somewhere in between number 7 and number 8, my aunts, some friends and I can no longer access the profile. I checked the chat, the profile was gone.
I want to believe that I scared the idiot, or that I have caught the fraudster so early on his/her modus that he/she did not dare continue as me. I know I was supposed to be happy, or glad, however, I was shaking and freaking out all the same.
That creature has my photos (of me and my husband and my daughter’s) on his/her hard drive (or whatever medium).
I know this story fairly well. My sister was a victim some 3 years ago. The same modus operandi. The fraudster created another account with the exact profile name, copied her profile and cover photos and added her friends and relatives.
Then the animal started borrowing money, or asking for cellphone loads from her friends.
Since my sister was always pretty busy, she was not so active on social media that time. (Actually, she still is not.) She just checks Facebook for new pictures of her niece – my daughter. Or to get updates about me and my family – or to give updates.
My sister only found out that there was this somebody who pretended to be her when she received visits with insults being slurred at her in the Faculty Room from angry acquaintances, and from students asking for their money back. She also got slandered on Facebook from some people (who also chatted me at some point) asking for their money back.
I know how hurt my sister was. I was stupefied. Extreme. I was devastated.
How could somebody do this to another human being!
My sister, in turn, paid this people who asked for their money back. I think some of them did not believe that it was not really her who asked for the money. She paid them – she told me – as some of them barely got nothing and that they gave in because they trusted her.
I know, had this fraudster from this morning asked for money from some of those “it” added, they will give or send the money. I believe some people trust me.
Or maybe not.
I just hope that nobody gave this “person” any money.
The things that some people can do to earn.
Tonight, while writing this, I thought of checking the report that I submitted.
Your Report Has Been Reviewed
The response was obviously from a template.
And the profile had been long removed.
Or maybe Facebook did?
I have been always thinking of having this account removed but there were just so much memories. I think I will delete this sooner or later – will download all the important stuffs first.
This is just a Facebook account. Why is it so hard to let go?