Saturday 24 June 2017

Woman got friend request from fake Facebook page pretending to be her dead brother

(Stock picture)
(Stock picture)

Zainab Boladale

A woman has told how she received a Facebook friend request from a fake account pretending to be her dead brother.

Amy Walsh’s brother died seven months ago, aged 29, after a long battle with cancer.

Ms Walsh revealed that the night before his 30th birthday, she was waiting for midnight so she could post a birthday status. But as the clock struck 12am she instead received a friend request from a Facebook page that was identical to her brother's real page but there was no visible friend list.

"When I saw this page I just thought someone was being sick," Amy told Liveline on RTÉ Radio 1.

Friends of her brother also received the friend request and they reported it. She told her friends to ignore any friend request they get from the fake page. The fake page was removed a short time later.

She explained that her brother’s original page was taken down two months ago and she hasn’t been able to get an official explanation for this. "Someone obviously reported the wrong one by mistake," said Amy.

Ms Walsh said her brother’s Facebook page was another way that she kept his memory alive and it gave her comfort as it included videos where you could hear his voice and see him in pictures with family and friends. "I just want his page to be there so we can look at it every day," she said.

Patrick was buried with his phone so the family can't access photos or films, Ms Walsh has tried to get in touch with Facebook to see if they can restore the page. "Facebook makes it impossible to contact them," she said.

She said she doesn’t want his password or to have any control over his page, but she’d love to be able to tag him in personal things that have happened since he died.

A spokeswoman for Facebook said this evening: "We have restored Patrick’s account as a memorialised account so that his family and friends can continue see the photos, videos and posts that he shared.

"We have let Amy know and she is very happy that Patrick’s profile and content is visible to her again."

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