According to Sheriff Johnny Bivens, at least five people in the Lewis County area have complained of someone cloning their Facebook page and sending messages to the person's friends, asking for money.
"They use the same name, pictures and information on the original page, and block the owner from the page," Bivens said. "This way, the owner of the original page can't see what's being sent."
Bivens said messages have been sent to people asking to have money wired for various reasons, some of which include vehicles needing repair, medical or personal expenses.
According to Bivens, one such occurrence recently included the page of April Justice. A cloned page appeared on Facebook and began sending messages to friends of the real Justice.
"She has been sick for a while and in the hospital," Bivens said. "Someone was sending messages from a page exactly like hers saying times were tough for the family and asking to borrow money."
Bivens said from the research he has done on the cloned pages, it does not look like someone locally is doing it.
"It doesn't look like it's someone here," he said. "But, it is happening to people in our county."
Bivens said anyone who receives a friend request from someone they believe to already be on their list should contact that person through some means other than Facebook.
"If you contact them through Facebook, you may be speaking with the person who cloned the page," he said. "So, get in touch with them some other way. And, never give out any personal information online."
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