Hacked Vs Cloned

Real Estate Agent with Innovative Realty Solutions Group BK3158345

Hacked vs Cloned by Dee Toohey

I often post on social media about this topic and now I am going to share a nightmare in a serious of blogs.

If your social media is hacked, you will not have access to it. Sometimes you can recover it and other times you can't. Example: Facebook requires a government issued photo ID with your name, photo and birthdate. Sounds easy? 

My legal name is not Dee. My government issued IDs are in my legal name. My Facebook page is under Dee which is my nickname. My recently hacked page is not recoverable at this point but I'm working on it. I also had this happen when I lost my password under my Dee Toohey email Yahoo account. 

Cloning means someone created an account under your known name and used some of your photos to fool people into thinking it was you. You know you were only cloned when you still have access to your accounts.

Most cloning occurs on Twitter and Instagram/Facebook. Many create an Instagram account under an assumed name, connect your friends via Facebook Messenger using that account. You can easily tell by looking at the profile at the top of the message. It will say you are NOT connected on Facebook. If you use both, don't connect Facebook with Instagram.

In either case, if you are looking at a fake account, report it to the person and to the vendor as a fake account and block the account. 

The worst thing about losing my Facebook page of 15 years is not the photos. I uploaded them so I have them. It's the connections to friends, family and customers, my pages and groups, current events and the memories that pop up daily. 

I suggest you add admins to your pages so you can recover them via that friend, be careful who you engage with and be diligent in reporting and blocking cloning offenders who often become the hackers that cause the damages. Be on the lookout for strange messages. Examples: Can you help, I'm stranded. Can you send me money?  What's Up? How ya doing? or something slangish. If you doubt it's your friend, call them or ask them a question that a stranger could not answer. 

These folks are aggressive. They ask for money, help, and are persistent. They even call you to beg for help. Once they know you are on to them, they block you.

Remember to report these instances immediately and don't engage. 

Kat Palmiotti
eXp Commercial, Referral Divison - Kalispell, MT
Helping your Montana dreams take root

I'm sorry to hear about this, but thankful for the heads-up. I have to download my FB photos/files.

May 17, 2023 05:53 AM
Dee Toohey

Kat Palmiotti Photos are not the issue because you had them to upload and that does not change. I lost my pages, groups, and Facebook memories. They are using all of those to attempt to get control of other accounts as well as they posted to all the groups I belonged to. Once my friends started posting that I was hacked, they deleted the posts. They are relentless.

May 17, 2023 11:09 AM
Patricia Feager, ABR,CRS,GRI,MRP
Selling Homes Changing Lives

Dee Toohey - Although what happened to you is terrible, thank you for having the courage to write this post to warn others. I don't understand why FB did not put in tighter security measures so this does not happen. 

May 17, 2023 02:47 PM
Dee Toohey

On the new account, I have settings set to Friends only, no tagging. Some creep in a uniform, tagged me is a post and i reported his profile and blocked him but my facebook history show no indication of that so I'm stressing about it.  URG.

May 19, 2023 08:19 PM
Aura Alex
Seattle, WA
Retired Real Estate Pro

Hi, Dee.

What a timely post!

I recently experienced this and received an email from Facebook warning me about a hack asking me for verification. But the worst part came a few days later when I received another email saying my account had been disabled permanently! It's frustrating because Facebook never gave me a clear reason why. I was looking forward to staying connected with my friends, but that won't happen anymore. So, I'm saying goodbye to Facebook and returning to ActiveRain instead.

Craig Daniels  - could this be related to my FB page?

May 17, 2023 09:40 PM
Craig Daniels

Aura Alex what happened on your account was an appalling failure of the Facebook system. It happened after you tried promoting some of your posts, and I have to wonder if that was related. Your posts were far from breaking community guidelines (which they quoted as the reason). If your account were hacked, we would have seen the spurious posts. I am at a total lack as to what happened and because FB would not give you a chance to discuss with actual human being, you were dumped to the gutter. Facebook has a huge tidal wave of bad actors so the legit ones can get washed away in the automated systems flush, which is what happened to you. Another case of bad people spoiling things for the good.

May 18, 2023 09:23 AM
Dee Toohey

Aura Alex  If you gave the hackers the code, they easily controlled your account. I have no clue how they got mine. 


May 19, 2023 08:18 PM
Alan May
Jameson Sotheby's International Realty - Evanston, IL
Hot enough for ya?

I see what you're calling "cloning" on Facebook, all the time.  (I have always called it spoofing)... Where someone has duplicated your account... stolen your profile photo, and then they reach out to your full address book full of friends, and start the process all over again.

I've never fully understood the motivation, until someone pointed out the fact that you can actually make purchases using your Facebook account.  Yikes!

May 18, 2023 05:30 AM
Dee Toohey

To make a purchase, they need the code and zipcode connected with your account. To be safe, I changed my card that was associated with FB.

The hackers in my case have been reaching out to my FB friends all day every day this week. It's been a nightmare because they are smart enough to call or text me about it. I often post things about this topic on my wall.

May 19, 2023 08:16 PM
Ginger Harper
Coldwell Banker Sea Coast Advantage~ Ginger Harper Real Estate Team - Southport, NC
Your Southport~Oak Island Agent~Brunswick County!

Too much of this happening.

I'm afraid to say yes to a question on facebook.

May 18, 2023 09:05 AM
Jeff Dowler, CRS
eXp Realty of California, Inc. - Carlsbad, CA
The Southern California Relocation Dude

HI Dee:

So sorry to hear what happened. But thank you for sharing your experience and your advice so more can be aware. There is lots of ugly stuff happening in the online world these days.


May 18, 2023 11:08 AM
Edward Gilmartin
CRE - Boston, MA

So imitation isn’t always the best compliment 

May 18, 2023 01:20 PM
Edward Gilmartin
CRE - Boston, MA

Facebook was too focused on helping Biden and hurting Trump at the time

May 18, 2023 01:22 PM
Leanne Smith
Dirt Road Real Estate - Golden Valley, AZ
The Grit and Gratitude Agent

I too am sorry to hear you were hacked. Also as others have remarked, thank you for sharing your experience.

May 18, 2023 01:55 PM
Sheri Sperry - MCNE®
Coldwell Banker Realty - Sedona, AZ
(928) 274-7355 ~ YOUR Solutions REALTOR®

Hi Dee,

This is so unfair to you.  I hope you can continue to get your FB up and running. 

I appreciate the info and am going to check my site.

May 18, 2023 04:23 PM
Laura Cerrano
Feng Shui Manhattan Long Island - Locust Valley, NY
Certified Feng Shui Expert, Speaker & Researcher

 This is the most nuanced topic I’ve seen all day. All I can say, is all we can do as our best, I suppose..

May 18, 2023 07:22 PM
Lise Howe
Keller Williams Capital Properties - Washington, DC
Assoc. Broker in DC, MD, VA and attorney in DC
I am glad you were featured with this post. It is something that we all need to remember
May 19, 2023 03:29 AM
John Juarez
The Medford Real Estate Team - Fremont, CA

It is amazing how many FB invitations that I get to friend someone who is already my FB friend! Those are clones and fakes and easily identified as such. Staying safe from the crooks and fakers is seemingly a full time job.

May 19, 2023 10:26 AM
Dee Toohey

Clones to don't hurt you directly but they are imitations and that's not good.

Hacks mean you can't get into your account and that is horrible. It's been a week from HELL!

May 19, 2023 08:13 PM
Miriam Odegard
United Real Estate Indianapolis - Indianapolis, IN
Real Estate Broker Serving Greater Indianapolis

Very good advice and such an important post. Thanks, Dee!

May 20, 2023 04:51 AM
Kathy Streib
Cypress, TX
Home Stager/Redesign

May 20, 2023 07:10 PM
Diana Zaccaro Broker Associate
ZOOM Realty Group - Cocoa Beach, FL
"The Accidental Blogger" Cocoa Beach, Florida

Thanks for the heads up and so sorry you are going through this.

A couple months ago I was locked out of one of my FB accounts, no idea why but could not login or access it. They sent an email asking if I was having problems and I wrote back yes then they sent me a list of 4-5 people on my friends list in that account and told me to pick 3 who would validate that it was really me trying to login. Luckily messenger still worked so I messaged all 3 also and one responded right away, answered the Qs they sent her and I got back in a day or so later. They never asked for a government ID and if they had, I would not have provided it as I just don't feel comfortable giving them that much information.


May 21, 2023 08:21 PM
Dee Toohey

Your situation was different. Mine was not in my control at all. No email. Just bs. I sent my passport which is signed in both my government name and nickname, by the way. They would not accept. Their bots look at the printed name only. My driver's license is the same.


May 22, 2023 03:10 AM
Laura Cerrano
Feng Shui Manhattan Long Island - Locust Valley, NY
Certified Feng Shui Expert, Speaker & Researcher

Very heartwarming to see everybody coming to your rescue. Spiritually right here and it’s a pretty nice thing.

May 21, 2023 10:41 PM
Dee Toohey

People have  been very supportive and I appreciate that. 

I had many post something on their walls about the hack to warn mutual friends, report the hack and block the old page. I have had many messages and calls about attempted hacks. The hacker is relentless. No one has fallen for it that I am aware of. 

May 22, 2023 03:12 AM
Jan Green - Scottsdale, AZ
Value Added Service, 602-620-2699 - Scottsdale, AZ
HomeSmart Elite Group, REALTOR®, EcoBroker, GREEN

Oh yeah, I've received those "cloned" accounts asking  how I'm doing.  I know it's fake as that person wouldn't say that in that manner.  Immediately contacting them and yes, they've heard from others.  Such a waste of time! 

May 23, 2023 10:34 AM
Dee Toohey
Innovative Realty Solutions Group - Longwood, FL
Broker, ABR, AHWD, CIPS, FMS, ePro

I was hacked, not cloned. Cloning causes confusion unless you fall for it. Hacking is a nightmare. I lost my page, groups, other pages, friends, had to cancel my stored credit card and am dealing with many calls, texts, messages from friends asking me if the hacked page is me communicating with them. It's insane.

May 24, 2023 05:52 AM
Mimi Foster
Falcon Property Company - Colorado Springs, CO
Voted Colorado Springs Best Realtor

What a nightmare! I am so sorry this happened to you! It's my photos that would devastate me as I do NOT have them in my possession any more. I have tried several times to upload them to no avail. And my name is not legally Mimi Foster. No ID as Mimi except my business cards. This is a HUGE wake up call, and I thank you so much for sharing this awful story.

Jun 19, 2023 08:39 AM