It turns out she had just received a friend request from me via Facebook. I thought this was odd since we're already "friends". I mean, we were talking over Facebook at that very moment! Fortunately, she was skeptical enough to double check with me as this didn't seem right.
I did a search to find the other "Chip Roberson" and there was my face staring back at me. What was worse, we already had 9 friends in common.
Two of my more skeptical friends double-checked with me and avoided the scam. But more of my friends accepted the impostors request. I saw the numbers rising fast: 16, 17,..., 20. The spoof was working faster than I could type my warning message to my social network.
I flagged the offending page as "impersonating me" and to their credit Facebook quickly took it down. However, this act can be repeated over and over again and very easily as it took no special skills or tools. All the person needed was my public profile picture and my list of friends, which is also public. He or she created a new account, uploaded my picture as the avatar and started inviting my friends. Most of my friends just assumed I accidentally deleted them as a "friend" and I was just "re-friending" them.
After I had solved the situation and alerted my social network, my friends keep asking me, "Why are they doing this?" The answer is to get access to information that friends only share with one another. This was a wolf in sheep's clothing trying to get among the flock to extract restricted data.
When Phishers & Spoofers Target your Brand
Now imagine this was one of your trusted employees or one of your brands. It can happen on Twitter, Pinterest and LinkedIn as easily as it did on Facebook. In fact, a spoof and phishing attack just happened to EASportsFIFA on Twitter this past week. You can read the whole story in Wired. I even tweeted about it as an example of why social media security and authenticity is so important. If you are not vigilant about your brand, the "bad guys" can get in and wreak havoc with your brand reputation, your trademark protection, and yes, even your sales. You need to make sure that when customers see your brand, it is truly you. And you need to assure your customers that you do everything you possibly can to protect their data!
The Brandle™ Presence Manager is designed to automatically bring these attacks to your attention so you can deal with them quickly. It's the easiest way to ensure social media security and brand protection. Think of Brandle as social media governance in a box, providing the vigilance that today's social enterprise requires.