How to spot a fake profile on Facebook 98



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How do you spot a fake profile? I guess there are no hard and fast rules but here are a few things that I have learned in the last few months whilst running my own Facebook group.

Blank background

Check out the background of somebody’s Facebook profile. Is there a picture or is it blank? Most fake profiles or spammers don’t bother to create a background image. So that’s your first warning sign to look out for. Any picture will do and a photo of a real person is even better. But if there is no background image, ask yourself why.

Facebook picture

Look at the picture. If there is no picture then that’s a major warning sign. Some fake profiles won’t even bother to give themselves one. But if there is a photo, take a close look at it. Does it look like it’s been snatched from Google images? Most real people aren’t perfect. The vast majority of us don’t look like glamour models. We have moles, we have one eye that looks a little wonky, we have double chins and zits. So if you see an avatar photo of somebody that looks impossibly beautiful and they are eating an apple or obviously posing for a catalogue there’s probably a reason.

Profile URL

If you want to know if a Facebook profile is real then check out the URL of their profile. Most real profiles will have their name at the end of the URL. But most fake profiles don’t have a name. They have a sequence of numbers and letters.

And if there is a name at the end of their profile, check to make sure it’s the same one. If somebody has John Smith as their profile name and it says ‘Shirley Rodgers’ at the end of their URL then that’s another warning sign. Why two names?

Sex changes

Look out for profiles that seem to have two different genders. That is a surefire way of detecting a fake profile.

If somebody is calling themselves Robert Davies then you presume they are a guy. But click ABOUT or TIMELINE on their profile. Does it say HE or SHE? If it says she, see what she shares with friends then you have a gender conflict! How can Robert be a SHE? Has he had a sex change?

Photos and other profile information

Fake profiles are usually blank profiles. So if details are a bit thin on the ground, ask yourself why.

There are a whole host of things that should be on there.

  • Work and Education
  • Places Lived
  • Contact and Basic Info
  • Family and Relationships
  • Details
  • Life Events

Not all of us like to include too many details for privacy reasons. So you need to include this one in context with of all the other warning signs that I’ve already mentioned.

What photos are available to view on their profile?

If you just have the one Google image of a blonde bombshell eating an apple, again ask yourself why.

Real people will have real people in their photos. Family photos, holiday photos. Photos of their dogs and their cats. Their new tattoo.

Finally check out their friends.

Fake profiles and spammers usually have very few friends on their list. Real people have at least a handful unless they have set their profile to private.

And if there are friends, take a close look at them.

If the guy that has asked to join your Facebook group is named Trevor Smith then you’d expect a few other English names on there. But if the people on his friends list all have Arabic Names or Chinese names you need to ask yourself whether he is an English guy himself.

Similar check out any groups that they belong to.

Some fake profiles will belong to hundreds of groups whereas some won’t be members of any. Both are suspicious in my experience. If your guy is named Trevor Smith and all his groups are Chinese then that is also suspicious. If most of his groups are groups on how to make money or buying and selling groups, be doubly suspicious about his intentions.

Accepting that friend request or that new member into your Facebook group can have major repercussions if you don’t check them out properly. So I hope this article has been helpful. But also trust your gut instinct. If somebody sounds a little dodgy or too good to be true, don’t let them in. And try sending them a private message. Most fake profiles and spammers won’t reply.

By Ally Atherton

Guest Contributor

  1. I have noticed some similar phraseology on posts here on SAS. A manner of writing that has an error. I guess some people have two or more facebook pages to make it look like several people are agreeing with them. Or to have more people disagreeing with something else. This doesn’t mean they’re out to make trouble, just need some backup – even if it is just their own I haven’t bothered to investigate.

    5 REPLY
    • That is another sign. Also if the same people like the same persons comments on different sites doing the same story and it is…… from different viewpoint from the others.

    • how do you mean Neil? I have many come in here on my friends list 14 as a matter of fact and when they comment it shows me them first on the list..I always hit like

    • I am the same I have a few on my friends list who come here and why would not I hit like for their posts? but if I think others are saying as I feel I hit like for them also

    • I will explain. I have seen some people take a view that is vile, cruel or plain rude. Then within 10 mins the same two or three people every single time they post a vile comment like that comment.

  2. I don’t play any online or FB games, so I have no need of extra friends for this purpose, but I do have some FB friends that are like the old pen-pals. We’ve interacted on community pages before a friend request was issued by one or the other.
    If I get a friend request out of the blue, I do a bit of a check on their profile etc, but wait a week or so to see if I get a message from them; that message may go to either the regular “Inbox” or to “Other”. If this doesn’t happen, then the request is quietly deleted, no reason need be given. I’ve never had the need to then block that person, but did come close on one occasion.
    Recently I did accept a friend request from a complete stranger that had liked a shared interest page, so I then put that person on to the “Acquaintances” list so that he sees only (very rare) public posts that I make, and not personal and family stuff.

  3. I choose not to have my photo on my face book page, does that make me weirdo or criminal, I think not

    7 REPLY
    • No, I chose not to put pictures of my daughters up as I do not want pervs using them for the wrong reason

    • My facebook account is displayed with as little info as possible, using all the security features, I won’t even show who my friends are, it’s none of anyone’s business. So if that makes me look like a fake identity, so be it. I don’t give a toss.

    • I don’t put mine up either but I added on to this page and will be taking it down by the end of the day.. I can tell you my arthritis is telling me I am very real 🙂

    • It doesn’t have to be a pic of you. Could be your pet. A favourite flower. Many alternative. Many people do this are not fakes.

  4. I hate to laugh at someones comment. But they missed the most obvious one. When was the profile created? This year or last year?

    Most recent profiles who are also older than 25 indicate you should be wary.

    4 REPLY
    • So if I finally talk my husband into going on Facebook – you will think he’s what? Not that I’m ever likely to get him interested in Facebook.

    • Yes, I was speaking in general how to spot a fake. Anyone under 25 who does not have a profile and gets to 25 would be rare.

      Not saying it is proof, just saying I am wary of any profile that is new and the person of age.

      Leone- no I am not saying that as most older people who go onto FB include the other information like who they are married to, family and so on.

      What I am saying is combined with the other things, someone 25 and older, with no information, a new profile, spouting BS is a sign of a fake

  5. I don’t use my photo, but I do have some of my son and even one of me 🙂 but you can verify your account with Facebook and mine is verified this pic will be gone probably by the end of the day but am putting it here now so you know I am not an invention

    4 REPLY

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