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Elected official warns of Facebook scam

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Updated: 2/27 11:45 pm
ORANGE PARK, Fla. -- The Orange Park vice-mayor is warning friends and constituents of a scam that targeted her Facebook page this week.

Marge Hutton's Facebook profile picture has never changed since setting up her account years ago, so when a new page began requesting friends this week using the same photo, hundreds quickly accepted.

"I've had this account for years and that picture's been up there, and it was the same picture. That was the hook for everybody."

But Hutton says she wasn't the one who started the new account. Her name and photos were stolen, then used to solicit donations.

"There are specific rules and regulations to raising contributions, and this page doesn't adhere to any of them so I panicked that someone could file an ethics complaint against me."

Clay County Supervisor of Elections Chris Chambless confirms Hutton reported the page this week, avoiding potentially hefty fines.

It's a topic he addressed at a candidate workshop for up and coming politicians Thursday night.

"For many candidates, social networking and taking contributions online is relatively new, and this workshop is the first step to educating them on what they can and can't do, Chambless said.

Chambless said Hutton is the first locally elected official to report being a victim of the Facebook cloning scam, but Facebook said criminals are targeting more and more users, including public figures like Hutton. The scammers then also access the private information of those who accept the requests.

"You don't know what they're going to do or say," said Hutton.

She wants everyone to be aware of the the cloning scam so they can avoid becoming a victim like her.

"Electronic media is instantaneous. They could ruin you in 24 hours or less," Hutton said.

Facebook recommends following this guide to protect your page from cloning: https://m.facebook.com/Facecrooks/posts/10151524855310345

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