In another Hoax-Slayer report, I discuss Facebook cloning in some detail and outline tips you can implement to help protect yourself from this type of scam. To clarify, Facebook cloning describes a technique in which scammers create a fake Facebook profile by using images and other information stolen from a targeted user’s real Facebook profile. Once the scammers have created a fake profile, they can send friend requests to people on the targeted person’s friends list.
One of the tips I include in this cloning scam report – hiding your friends list – is especially important and is thus worth highlighting in a separate article.
If clone scammers cannot see who you are friends with, they will not be able to send out fake invites to your friends. So, hiding your friends list can certainly help to thwart these scammers.
Moreover, cloning scams aside, hiding your friends list is advisable for both security and privacy reasons. Certainly, you do not want strangers to be able to view who you are friends with. People intent on gathering information about you may make assumptions about you based purely on who you associate with on Facebook. They may be able to fill in gaps and discover new sources of information about you by examining your list of Facebook friends.
So, if you have not already done so, it is worth taking the time to hide your friends list. Don’t worry. It’s quick and easy!
[Please note that these instructions describe accessing Facebook from a computer web browser. If you are using Facebook on a mobile device or via an app, you may need to use a different method to access your friends list settings.]
To hide your friends list, open your profile and click on the “Friends” tab. Then, click the pencil icon on the right side and click “Edit Privacy”:
In the “Who can see your friends list?” section, select “Only me” in the drop down list:
That’s it! Making this change only takes a few seconds now, but it could well save you from becoming a Facebook cloning victim and should enhance your overall privacy and security.
Last updated: February 5, 2017
First published: February 5, 2017
By Brett M. Christensen
Importance NoticeAfter considerable thought and with an ache in my heart, I have decided that the time has come to close down the Hoax-Slayer website.
These days, the site does not generate enough revenue to cover expenses, and I do not have the financial resources to sustain it going forward.
Moreover, I now work long hours in a full-time and physically taxing job, so maintaining and managing the website and publishing new material has become difficult for me.
And finally, after 18 years of writing about scams and hoaxes, I feel that it is time for me to take my fingers off the keyboard and focus on other projects and pastimes.
When I first started Hoax-Slayer, I never dreamed that I would still be working on the project all these years later or that it would become such an important part of my life. It's been a fantastic and engaging experience and one that I will always treasure.
I hope that my work over the years has helped to make the Internet a little safer and thwarted the activities of at least a few scammers and malicious pranksters.
A Big Thank YouI would also like to thank all of those wonderful people who have supported the project by sharing information from the site, contributing examples of scams and hoaxes, offering suggestions, donating funds, or helping behind the scenes.
I would especially like to thank David White for his tireless contribution to the Hoax-Slayer Facebook Page over many years. David's support has been invaluable, and I can not thank him enough.
Closing DateHoax-Slayer will still be around for a few weeks while I wind things down. The site will go offline on May 31, 2021. While I will not be publishing any new posts, you can still access existing material on the site until the date of closure.
Thank you, one and all!