I want to talk about something that has bothered me for some time now. Occasionally, I get a friend request on Facebook from older people that I know and after checking, I’m already connected to them. I report all of these accounts and I never really noticed the reply messages from Facebook until recently.
Last week, I received a friend request from an older lady in my church who lives in a nursing facility. I saw about twenty of our mutual friends had connected to her, so I joined in the friendship circle. I was skeptical though, however, I left it be. Two days ago, I got a private message that said, “Hi”. I said, “Hello, did they get you back to your normal room?” and didn’t get a response. Yesterday, I received a message back that said, “No, not yet, but hopefully soon.” Then, I knew I had them. The lady had been placed back in her normal room early this week. So, I waited for their scam. The next post said, “This kind nurse helped me get a grant for $50,000 and all I had to send was $750.00.” I told them I was reporting them and subsequently blocked them.
I thought that I would handle this for this lady who doesn’t even get on Facebook anymore, so I went to report the account. I reported that this person was imitating another person and had messaged me trying to get me to send money. My jaw dropped, not because I clicked on one of those click bait links, but when I read Facebook’s response. They said the account did not violate their community guidelines. How can stealing someone’s profile pic, their name, and connecting to all their friends not fit the criteria of violation of community guidelines? After attempting other means, I gave up and notified others about the fake account. It still exists at this time.
Then, yesterday, I saw a post from a friend alerting others to someone who had stolen their identity since 2012 (she just found this out). They maintained identical profile pics, though they changed the name on the profile. They posted nearly identical statuses for years. They stole photos and posted them as their own. They renamed family members in the photos as their own. They created a fake GoFundMe page for a funeral that never happened. The lady’s husband also tags the fake profile of my friend constantly calling her his second wife. It’s a conspiracy of absolute idiocy. They are stalkers and they have escalated this to a level way beyond identity theft. This is not a parody account, it’s a literal stalker using the account in a malicious way. This is causing emotional stress, and I would imagine a level of fear for her safety.