It is not news that some people create fake Facebook accounts to prey on others, steal their information, destroy their reputation, extort money from them, or aim to do worse.
According to Facebook itself, reasons for opening a fake account on Facebook include spreading fake news, spam, impersonation, and the likes to trick victims into giving out their personal information or money.
In view of this, WikiHow defines Facebook users with fake accounts as con artists – people who cheat or trick others by persuading them to believe something which is not true.
If you’re not in the script, you will definitely never want to meet the playwright.
Not everyone that wants to be your friend on Facebook has good motives.
Some just want to get close to you and steal your identity or vital information that can be used to set you up or manipulate another person.
Since the person using a fake account would approach you the same way others would, knowing who is real and who is not can be a bit difficult.
But that doesn’t make the impostors and their pranks undetectable if you know how to spot them.
You don’t need to go after anyone or witch haunt your friends if you detect something fictitious about their accounts or to start removing them.
But to make you understand the psychology of people you meet on Facebook or any social media platform.
At least there’re users who use their accounts on Facebook to make a huge milestone of success without hurting anyone.
The point is being on Facebook can bring you all the blessings you have prayed for. And while that is happening, remember someone could be on your timeline monitoring you.
So, don’t leave your Facebook account unguarded.
Please share this post to alert your friends of the risks involved in the use of Facebook.
Why It’s Important to Identify Fake Facebook Accounts
Before a Facebook user can open a fake account, there must be something he wants to achieve. And if you’re not extra careful, you can be a victim.
The good news is you can avoid this bad thing from happening to you if you have some security measures in place to screen everyone before topping up your friend list on Facebook.
Even if you are desperate to see your followers grow, you should be able to know how to identify fake Facebook accounts.
Facebook, in good faith, refers to your followers as friends. You can also use Facebook to market your business. But taking everyone for his words or every profile for real can cause you an unrecoverable loss.
But for that not to happen to you, I decided to show you how to identify fake Facebook accounts.
So, get things right with this guide.
Forms of Fake Facebook Accounts
Opening a fake account on Facebook can take different forms, depending on the intentions of the users. In this post, I will show you two forms which include:
- Multiple Accounts
- Corporate Use
Some users derive pleasure in having multiple accounts with different names. While some do this ignorantly, some have the intention to use fake Facebook accounts and become invisible.
I don’t mean every fake account on Facebook is for evil, but what I’m saying is using a Facebook account that doesn’t have a user’s real name is strange. And you must be able to identify such in order to avoid users with bad intentions.
Multiple accounts can occur if users don’t have access to their existing accounts, which can be due to loss of passwords or when accounts are being violated.
Any user in that circumstance might decide to create a new account instead of solving security riddles attached.
How can a user’s real name be Sam and he bears Josephine on one of his Facebook accounts? Changing his name and gender from male to female makes him and his account suspicious.
A genuine account must have a genuine user. So, if a user has two accounts, one must be fake.
Ideally, no user can use a name twice on any digital related account, but if anyone decides to do otherwise, there is no way he won’t end up like Sam.
So, those are fake Facebook accounts.
Business or Corporate Forms
Another form of fake Facebook account is when a user creates a separate business account without a genuine link to his personal account for visitors to know who is responsible for the account.
Facebook is aware of the need of users to bring their businesses online. That is why every user has the privilege to create as many Facebook Page accounts as possible for doing business.
But because most users don’t want to be recognized with their business pages, they choose to open a separate account.
Those are the types of friend requests you see which come with corporate names. You must check very well before you accept them to avoid being robbed.
What Can Be Achieved with Fake Facebook Accounts
So, what could be the intention of a user who operates many accounts – one with his real identity and the other with information that doesn’t exist or which belongs to another innocent person entirely.
From what has been happening so far, records show that fake Facebook account users have connections with:
- Money Opportunities
- Romance Scams
- Text Message Scams
- Spam Messages
There are users on Facebook who beg for money. Because some of them are doing this to extort people, they use fake names with other people’s pictures and hide their own identities.
This might not have a meaning if not because they steal other people’s identities and fake their circumstances to get rich.
An online romance scam is as old as the internet, which Wikipedia describes as a relationship built online out of confidence with the intention of either of the partners to gain the affection and trust of the other and commit fraud.
If those who are in dire need of a serious relationship get involved with the wrong partners, they possibly pay with their lives or money and properties.
Partners with ulterior motives take advantage of the internet to defraud their significant others.
Since Facebook functions primarily as a social tool, scammers see it as a safe haven to perpetrate all sorts of evil – stealing their victim’s money, bank details, credit cards, passports, e-mail accounts, national identification numbers, and in other cases coercing them to commit a financial crime on their behalf.
FBI raises the alarm in Looking for Love? Beware of Online Dating Scams, as the menace can be easier with the use of fake Facebook accounts.
There are ladies who pretend to be men and men who pretend to be women, using fake names, fake pictures, and fake profiles to deceive people who fall for their pranks on Facebook.
Text Message Scams
Text message scam is one of the most recent scams used to hack into people’s Facebook accounts.
Liz Bateson in Text Message Scam Could Give Hackers Access to Your Facebook Profile says An Eastern Carolina sheriff’s office disclosed this new scam.
The report warns people to ignore any text message that asks them to upgrade their Facebook accounts within 24 hours to avoid their accounts being disabled by clicking on a link provided in the message and fill some forms that request for their Facebook account details.
The office of the Sheriff says the impostor has nothing to do with Facebook but just sends out the message to make it seem your account has a problem. And if you should take the bait and fill out the forms, the impostor will use the information you provide to hijack your Facebook account from you.
Some users create fake accounts on Facebook to promote spam. According to TechoPedia, spam messages are believed to be unethical and illegal because they are unsolicited.
They usually come in a commercial form to make recipients take actions different from what the message contains.
Such are the advertorials you see in between a serious thread that are completely irrelevant. You can even receive spam directly on your messenger and when you try to check the sender, you will realize that he is not genuine.
Impostors use fake Facebook accounts to impersonate public figures and solicit funds from the general public without their knowledge.
Politicians and celebrities are usually the victims. Someone can just create a fake account on Facebook in the name of a very popular person and use the profile to commit all sorts of criminal activities.
A Kenyan media personality, Jahmby Koikai who is currently undergoing therapies and treatment in the US raised the alarm that some impostors were using her pictures while in the hospital to solicit funds from her fans without her knowledge.
This act could have put her into a gradual disrepute if the matter didn’t get to her notice earlier. Her impostors saw her condition as a golden opportunity to become rich.
Sometimes ago, a boy contacted me from Zambia claiming he was dating an American widow who wanted to claim her deceased husband’s assets worth thousands of dollars.
He said the woman promised to share the money with him if he could raise a certain amount to assist in clearing the asset.
So, the boy said he had $7000 and he would need me to assist in raising the balance of $3000. And he promised to share whatever he got from the woman with me 50-50. He said he was expecting around $35,000 from the woman.
This kind of story could easily show that the subject wasn’t real. I checked his profile and didn’t see anything to show he could even live on $2 per day.
That with the whole cooked story, you should know the guy was up to something.
This is an old version… So, no smart fake Facebook users would approach you with such a story in 2019.
With the way they do it now, if you are not very smart, you won’t notice anything until the deed is done.
Based on what I have seen so far, I compiled these ten signs to identify fake Facebook profiles.
How to Identify Fake Facebook Account
There are different ways to identify a fake account on Facebook. Based on facts, these are the most common traits that make a Facebook account to be suspicious.
No Profile Picture
Be careful when a user sends you a friend request on Facebook and his or her profile has no pictures most especially if the profile picture is blank.
Even if the name is familiar, it is possible an impostor is at work. Don’t accept such requests until you have a very strong belief they truly come from a genuine source.
You can briefly engage in an interview with the sender via messenger. Click on his username to open his profile and message him some questions.
If you are still not convinced, ask further questions. And if the person still sounds strange, delete his request and block him immediately.
No Photo Album
If you want to know a fake account on Facebook, check every user that sends you a friend request and find out if there is a photo album on their profile or not. A profile that has no photo album is in most cases fake.
Profile Is New
Most new Facebook accounts are not real except the users are very young. Cons that really mean business offer any amount to buy or to hijack any old Facebook account. They do this because new Facebook accounts lack integrity.
So, before you can accept any friend request, check whether the account is new or not. To know this, check the number of friends on the profile.
If it is significantly low, don’t accept it except you know the person and he can confirm the authenticity of the account to you.
One of the common traits of fake Facebook accounts is scantiness. They have no organized or consistent information such as personal data of the owner, no history of personal records.
All you can find on such an account could be just one very attractive profile picture either of a man or woman.
Cons use this to attract single men and women on Facebook. If you are a guy and you see such a beautiful picture, you will be irresistible.
And to screen such a profile, take your time to go through it. If the information on it can’t describe the profile picture, beware. The profile picture could be a bait.
You can also identify a fake Facebook account by the kind of pictures you find on such an account.
It is possible the user is using Google to source for images. Download the image you find on the account and drag it to Google search. Google will return with information that will help you to know if the photo is fake or real.
A genuine account must have a history. Check if the photos on the Facebook account are corroborating with the current and previous profile pictures.
If not, think twice. It’s strange for a genuine user not to have consistent series of information about him or his demography on social media.
I have seen a profile before where the user claimed to be a white woman and when I screened it, there was no single picture of a white woman on the whole account.
All I saw were pictures of one black guy with black friends and family except the profile picture.
The point here is most friends of a foreign user must be foreigners while most friends of a local user too must be local.
Very Low Engagement Rate
Another easier way to identify a fake account on Facebook is by assessing the activity rate of the user and what kind of response or feedback he gets. Who are the kinds of people that engage with the user? If both the user’s activity and friends’ engagement rate is low, such an account has to be screened.
Have you ever observed seeing an irrelevant comment when you are reading comments on viral posts? They usually come in advertisements which in the computer world called spam. This act is a crime.
So, you should suspect the accounts through which such an action is being perpetrated. Some may tell you to follow a link to take a certain action. But because the account is not genuine, you can’t trust such an offer.
Strange Profile Name (Bad Combination)
You can also identify a fake Facebook account through the profile name.
A lot of pranks are played with profile name by cons. So, you have to pay attention to this. The combination of some usernames can be so terrible that they serve as a warning sign.
Because most people don’t see the need to screen friends before accepting their requests, impostors succeed.
There is a difference between a username and profile name. A profile name is supposed to be the user’s real name while a username can be a nickname that serves as a user’s Facebook handle.
Some people use their profile names as their usernames, there is nothing wrong in that. What matters is that the profile name should be able to reveal a user’s true identity.
If users are not using their true names, there would be a lot of confusion on Facebook which won’t be healthy for all.
Because most people didn’t know this, they act on ignorance. Facebook doesn’t work that way.
If we want to curb the use of fake Facebook accounts, users must have confidence in using their true names.
You can also determine a fake account on Facebook by identifying a user’s friends. If someone sends you a friend request, check if you have mutual friends before you can accept the request.
Try to ask about the user from your friends and if the user is someone they know and have no bad impression about, that can prove him or her genuine.
There is a way you can monitor a friend you just met on Facebook. This depends on the probation period you set to study with your new friends.
So, within the period, watch how the person interacts with your posts and pictures. It would be strange if the person persistently likes all your photos and posts.
Don’t be too comfortable with that behavior. Just be careful it doesn’t get into your head. If you sense any danger, unfriend him and block his access to your account immediately.
Next time someone sends you a friend request on Facebook, do a little detective work to screen the person before you accept him. Even if the profile name and picture are familiar, first engage the person in a brief interview to know if he is genuine.
A lot of people are now using fake Facebook accounts to defraud other users. Some accounts are created in other people’s names and pictures and you won’t know which is real and which is fake without carrying out your investigation.
So, considering these ten aforementioned signs would help you reduce the risks of becoming a victim.