Fake Facebook accounts for Cook Islands PM, QR

RAROTONGA – The public has been asked to watch out for fake Facebook profiles of prominent Cook Islanders doing the rounds on the popular social website.

Prime Minister Henry Puna and Queen’s Representative Tom Marsters both recently had fake profiles created in their names on Facebook.

Media Advisor to the Prime Minister Thomas Wynne said that people need to be vigilant with regard to who is sending them friend requests on Facebook, especially when they are people who have international profiles as well as being known here in the Cook Islands.

“A simple check of the photo on the PM’s fake profile would have shown that it was in fact the Hon Enele Sopoaga, Prime Minister of Tuvalu, and not our Prime Minister Hon Henry Puna,” said Wynne. “And yet by the time the request had got to myself, 11 people had already confirmed the friend request.”

“Again, let us be vigilant and careful about our digital presence and those who wish to befriend us online.”

Facebook, which has 2.2 billion active users, admitted in an interview with the English newspaper The Telegraph in November last year that up to 270 million accounts on the social media network are fake and duplicate accounts.