Filipino bishop a victim of Facebook identity theft

Inside the Synod Hall 10 during the meeting of bishops and cardinals on Oct 14 2015 Credit Daniel Ibanez CNA 10 14 15 Bishops at the Vatican's Synod Hall, Oct. 14, 2015. | Daniel Ibanez/CNA.

Bishop Alberto Uy of Tagbilaran, on the Philippine island Bohol, was forced to warn his social media friends of online scams after his Facebook account was cloned to solicit donations in his name.

"ATTENTION ALL MY FB FRIENDS: Somebody is making a false FB account of myself under the name Abet Uy, asking for financial help or soliciting something. Don't believe it," the bishop said in a statement to his 26,000 followers on Facebook.

The 51-year-old bishop learned about the identity theft Monday, the day before he left to attend funeral rites for Bishop Juan de Dios Pueblos, who died Oct. 21. The fake account includes Bishop Uy in his vestments as a profile picture and him with a group of nuns for the background image.

Bishop Uy will frequently use Facebook to connect to his parishioners, offering them small spiritual insights. This time, he asked for help reporting the scam to Facebook and encouraged his followers not to be misled by the fake requests for financial assistance.

At the end of the same post, the bishop turned to prayer, saying, "Oh God, please forgive those people who scammed your people."

Facebook cloning isn't a new tactic by hackers to try and steal money, and recent chain messages have been circulating through the web warning Facebook friends about of virtual scandals.

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