Councillor wary of Facebook after finding online impostor

Cr Nancy Sommerfield has had issues with an impostor setting up a Facebook account in her name.
Cr Nancy Sommerfield has had issues with an impostor setting up a Facebook account in her name. Contributed

A TOOWOOMBA Regional Councillor is warning of the pitfalls of social media after she discovered someone was impersonating her on Facebook.

Cr Nancy Sommerfield spoke with The Chronicle after seeing an article last week about a 17-year-old Toowoomba girl whose photos were being used for a bogus profile.

"My daughter picked up on it straight away," Cr Sommerfield said of her own impostor.

A stern message was sent to the fraudster, who had used photos of Cr Sommerfield to create a profile which featured a slightly different spelling of her name.

"Within six or eight hours it was gone."

Cr Sommerfield said it had also happened to two of her friends.

"Well initially, because it was me, I thought 'this is someone having a political go'.

However, she is now sure it was someone trying to access as much information as possible by contacting her online friends.

It has not deterred her from using social media.

"I use my councillor Facebook page mostly now.

"I don't put much personal stuff on anymore."

1300 Web Pro general manager James Deck said there were many sinister reasons people created fake Facebook accounts.

"Perhaps a business competitor or political opponent would set up a fake business page or personal profile and publish undesirable materials," Mr Deck said.

"A sexual predator could establish a fake profile to lure victims."

He said scammers also targeted compromised but otherwise-legitimate Facebook accounts.

"Ensure you use a dedicated password for Facebook, change it on a regular basis, use caution when using shared computers or public WiFi connections and again have scepticism when receiving unusual messages or messages with financial implications even if you feel the Facebook profile is legitimate."

Topics:  cr nancy sommerfield facebook toowoomba regional council

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