Recognize

Do you believe someone is using your information to impersonate you on a fake social media profile? Scammers can use personal information and photos from your social media accounts to create fake profiles that they then use to scam others.

If you think someone is using your personal information to impersonate you and create fake social media profiles, we recommend that you act immediately by following our guidelines below, and then proceed to our ReportRecover and Reinforce sections for further assistance.

Some Immediate Action Steps to Take

  • Set privacy features to limit who can see your posts, photos, and personal information.
  • If you believe anything posted on the fake profile is Illegal content such as death threats, violent threats, or hate crime threats, contact your local police department.
  • Download the Identity Theft Help App from the Identity Theft Resource Center for free help with identity theft cases.

Report

Reporting identity theft incidents to IdentityTheft.gov is very important! The more national reporting data that is collected, the better the chance law enforcement has to catch the criminals and decrease online crime. Although IdentityTheft.gov does not resolve individual complaints directly, they will make your report available to local, state and other law enforcement partners. Please read the IdentityTheft.gov privacy policy here. (If you believe that you’ve received a phishing email, please forward the email directly to reportphishing@apwg.org.)

Report the Issue to the Social Networking Site

Recover

These resources have been gathered, selected and vetted to help simplify the process of recovering after a cybercrime incident has taken place. You may need to contact organizations outside FightCybercrime.org. Results will vary depending on your circumstances.

Reinforce

Once you have notified the appropriate organizations and you are on the road to recovery, it is time to reinforce your cybersecurity using these resources and tools.

Implement Preventive Measures

  • Limit the personal information you share on social media. Avoid listing personal information like birthdate, hometown, address, high school or college graduation dates, and primary email address.
  • Create strong passwords. Learn how from ConnectSafely.org.
  • Always enable a two factor authentication (2FA) – which requires an additional code to log in.
  • Regularly check and manage your privacy settings, only sharing private information with trusted friends and family members.
  • Be careful when sharing passwords.
  • Turn off geotagging – that allows social media to follow and share your location.
  • Only use trusted apps from reputable sources like Google Play or Apple App Store.
  • Download our Six Steps to Better Security PDF.

Community Resources