Action News 5's Andrew Douglas gets 'catfished' on Facebook - Action News 5 - Memphis, Tennessee

AN5's Andrew Douglas gets 'catfished' on Facebook

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It can happen to anyone, anytime ... and it even happened to Action News 5's Andrew Douglas. It can happen to anyone, anytime ... and it even happened to Action News 5's Andrew Douglas.
Kelsey Jacobson is a digital content director at for WMCTV.COM. She says catfishing has become extremely popular. Kelsey Jacobson is a digital content director at for WMCTV.COM. She says catfishing has become extremely popular.
With restrictive privacy settings and carefully choosing Facebook friends, Andrew hops his online catfishing experience will not happen again. With restrictive privacy settings and carefully choosing Facebook friends, Andrew hops his online catfishing experience will not happen again.
MEMPHIS, TN -

(WMC-TV) - Every day people have their identities stolen and their credit is compromised. But what about the people who steal your identity without going after your credit cards, what if they do it on your social media accounts?

There is a term for this: It is called "catfishing." That is when someone pretends to be someone else on social media.

It can happen to anyone, anytime ... and it even happened to Action News 5's Andrew Douglas.

When on the morning anchor desk, not only is he active on WMC-TV5, but he is active on social media, posting stories, pictures, and updates.

Early Tuesday morning began with Facebook friends telling Andrew they saw someone else posing as him on Facebook under the name Frank Newton. In fact there were two Frank Newton Facebook pages, he had about 20 pictures from Andrew's personal page.

Kelsey Jacobson is a digital content director at for WMCTV.COM. She says catfishing has become extremely popular.

"Somebody might not like what they look like or who they are, and they are going to pick a picture of somebody that looks better than them ... Someone they think looks good to pretend to be somebody else online," said Jacobson.

Andrew first reached out to Facebook, but his request to shut down Frank Newton's impostor pages was denied. What is worse is that Frank Newton not only had pictures of Andrew but also of his daughter and re-even named her daughter Jenny Newton.

So Andrew called Newton out as an impostor on his fan page. Eventually Facebook took down the site after Andrew reached out to its public relations staff, finally ending a stressful and aggravating ordeal that could happen to you.

"Privacy restrictions are a great idea, and don't accept Facebook friends from people you don't know," said Jacobson.

With restrictive privacy settings and carefully choosing Facebook friends, Andrew hopes his online catfishing experience will not happen again.

Here are a few other things to look for if you suspect a "catfish" on Facebook:

- If someone you do not recognize on Facebook is adding you as a friend, do a simply name and/or image search on Google. This could tell you where the photo originated.

- Take a look at the person's friend list. If the person has very few friends or an extraordinary number of friends, there is a good chance the profile is fake.  Also, if the person has a very global friend base, be weary accepting their request.

- If a wellknown person in your community, or a celebrity, is adding you as a friend on Facebook, chances are good it is not the actual person. Local celebrities, and national celebrities, use Facebook Fan Pages to engage with their audience. They would not be friending you from a personal page unless you do know them personally.

- And finally, trust your gut. If something looks sketchy, chances are... you're right. And a good rule of thumb is to not accept friend requests from strangers.

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