My First Cloning

My First Cloning

Someone took the time to create a cloned account of my Instagram profile and follow a few of my followers (I don’t have many) and pretend to be me. I’m not sure to what end this accomplished for them. The only reason I would think would be centered around getting hints about me to guess at my passwords, or possibly use my social acquaintances in order to solicit financial considerations from them. Or perhaps get access to their private account images. Here is the account in question:

Cloned Instagram Message
Cloned Instagram Message

The way they went about it is fairly interesting. They basically recreated my account using my header information and website, and then copied my last half dozen images and posted them immediately to their account (sans any descriptions). The handle they used is simply mine with another letter at the end.

I found out about the account in question through my brother, who received a message from his best friend’s wife, that wanted to know if my account had been “hacked.” Of course, this made me incredibly apprehensive because I use strong, unique, passwords for all of my online accounts. For them to hack into it would have required gaining access to my email account. I logged into IG and saw that I had zero outgoing messages (I rarely use IG except to utilize their cool filter effects) so I felt some reassurance there.

The message in question looked like this below. They seemed to be trying to strike up a conversation with this user. What seemed suspicious to them was that the messages were sent at 4:00 AM and was a bit more flowery than how I come across. It was also a little pushy, which I am not. If it wasn’t for this heads up from this user I would have never known about the imposter.

I believe I know the offending account who created this one. I found who the imposter account followed first, and found that particular account following me as well. It’s an anonymous account that follows several thousand others and is probably the “master” account they use to crib the header and image information when they’re creating these fictitious accounts. But that’s only a guess. I have blocked them for good measure anyway.

Overall I’m not sure what my feelings are on the matter. I’m a little surprised that they’d take the time to clone my tiny, insignificant account. I am also curious how they found me and what criteria they used to select mine for abuse. I hope I don’t become a target for them as I already have enough to worry about than defending my online reputation. I sent them a message letting them know I know about the account, hopefully they move on knowing that the jig is up. Maybe that was a mistake, I don’t know. Instagram knows too, and I doubt they’ll do anything about it. Honestly if this becomes a thing I have to spend time on I’d rather just delete the account altogether and only utilize Facebook and Twitter.

Cloned Instagram Message
Cloned Instagram Message
Bitnami