This is for all who have felt my pain and for those who haven’t experienced the same situation yet, and hopefully never will. Social media is a great tool, FREE if you are not paying for advertising, and basically you can post most of your opinions.
Unfortunately, not everyone who comes to social media has the same good intentions.
Late last Friday afternoon I got a message from a follower on Instagram telling me that someone had cloned my account and was using my personal pictures and asking for money for a relief fund. Honestly, my first thought was that their message was fake (why not, there is so much fake news all the time, right?)
So, I checked my name and found “my other account” – one that I didn’t create. I thanked my follower and started to work on how to report the cloned account.
There is no phone number or email to communicate with anyone at social media companies. It is not easy to report this kind of situation, especially when you are feeling so violated.
I reported the problem account through the few options that the social media company offered, and they said that they would check it out.
Meanwhile, the other “Rosana” befriended my friends and followers. I saw my personal friends and family following that account, and over 80 of my followers being followed by that account.
I was feeling more and more violated.
I contacted all the people following and followers of my cloned account and advised them what had happened. I asked them to please report the issue and block that account. Also – to keep reporting it every hour. I got very nice responses from my followers and people being followed. That was the silver lining of this whole experience. By the next morning the cloned account was gone.
My suggestion is that if this happens to you, be proactive and keep reporting it. Ask your friends and followers to report it. Unfortunately, there is no one you can talk to at the social media companies to take care of you. You need to care for yourself. Be kind, be your own best advocate, and believe that most people on social media are nice and caring, like you are.
Be safe and well.