According to Statistica.com, Facebook has approximately 2.89 billion monthly active users.
Last year, Facebook reported that almost 10% of its profiles were either fake or duplicates. That makes it a huge number.
To tackle fake profiles, Facebook is adopting different strategies, but apparently, they are not enough. Phony profiles aren’t just a concern for Facebook. They are a bigger concern for real people like you and me.
So how can we identify a fake Facebook profile?
Oftentimes, you come across a person bemoaning a trickster who got the better of their judgment. But, crying after the spilled milk never helps! The best thing to do is to stay vigilant and always on the lookout for particular behavior patterns of a Facebook profile before dealing with them. Yes, it’s very easy to spot a fake profile if you know their common behavior patterns.
Don’t worry if you don’t because, in this article, we will explain how you can tell if a Facebook account is fake.
Why Are Fake Facebook Accounts Created?
Well, there are several reasons a person may create a fake Facebook profile. If they are not a trickster, they may be bored or playing a prank on you to make things interesting. After all, it’s very easy. Everybody these days knows how to make a fake Facebook account.
Usually, fraudsters create a fake Facebook account to promote something, trick users into purchasing something, and hack, or do other financial fraud to deprive users of their hard-earned life savings. According to experts, these fake profiles fall into two categories. First are the bot profiles, created automatically using various software or web robots to perform certain tasks. The second is manually created by an ill-intention person.
However, irrespective of the type of a Facebook profile, these fake profiles are created to harm you in one way or another.
How Can We Tell If A Facebook Account Is Fake?
Well, the easy way is to use a Facebook fake account checker online. But these services aren’t reliable. That’s why we recommend looking at the signs of a fake Facebook profile below. If you spot three or more of these signs in a single Facebook profile, they are fake profiles. However, if you see only one or two of these signs, it’s possible they are a reserved person and do not want to share their personal information too much on social media.
Fake Facebook Picture
Bots and fake profiles exploit a very basic human instinct –beauty. That is why most phony profiles often sport a picture of either a gorgeous girl in seductive attire or a handsome shirtless guy. Psychologists also believe that we are more likely to trust a person with a good-looking face than someone with an average or not a good-looking one. Having an enticing profile picture dramatically increases the chances of getting their friendship request accepted.
However, it isn’t always the case. You may get a friendship request from a genuinely handsome person or a genuine person with a seductive fake picture. And there’s nothing wrong with accepting their request and chatting with them. We are just saying that whenever you receive a friendship request or any other request to do something from someone with a seductively beautiful picture, be careful while dealing with them.
So, how do you know whether the profile picture of a Facebook profile is real or fake? Simple, reverse image lookup. Download it on your computer and then use a service like TinEye or Google’s image search to verify whether it’s genuine or not. When you upload this image to one of these platforms, they will fetch data from all over the internet to see whether the picture has been used anywhere else or not.
Weird Bio (About me) Information
Remember, people may have a great picture, but they might not have a great bio. The bio section is where you will be able to catch the fake profile. Genuine people like to enter everything about themselves in detail. They list their school name along with the year, college, university, employment, etc. People with fake profiles usually don’t go into much detail. If you see a profile with a blank about section, it might be a fake account.
Another thing to take into consideration when you are checking they’re about me is to look for a pattern.
For instance, check whether all of their about me section talks about a particular city, such as Went to the University of Illinois, Lives in Illinois, and works somewhere in Illinois. Usually, fake account makers don’t tend to go into detail. They just fill up all the details with the most common and famous things in order to look authentic.
Friends and their online presence
Do they have any online presence? (Or what do people say about them?)
You should avoid befriending new people only by their photos as it may attract criminals looking for easy prey. In order to make sure, take a quick look at their friend’s list as well as mutual friends list and see if there are any people from your own school or workplace.
Sometimes, even if you don’t find any, ask for their phone number and call them immediately after getting it. If they seem to be who they claim to be on Facebook, you know that the profile is safe.
Moreover, a genuine person would usually have connections within the local community. When you see so many foreign friends and not many local people added to their friend’s list, it’s most likely a fake profile that only wants to add everyone from all over the world.
If a person is from Illinois, why would they have so many friends from the Philippines right?
Also, if it’s a female’s profile and you see 4k or 5K friends on their list, this should raise a red flag. Females usually don’t add so many people on their Facebook.
Likewise, when you see a profile with many fake friends, they are also fake.
Profile name and Facebook URL name
Most fake accounts have different profile and URL names.
This happens mostly when a genuine person’s account gets hacked, and then the hacker either renames their profile or Facebook makes the hacker change their name for whatever reason. It’s also common when a person creates a fake account for one reason and then has to rework the account to suit another job.
For instance, when a person creates an account to promote and market stuff for the American audience. After some time, they decide to use the same account to market their stuff for the Middle Eastern markets. In such a situation, they have to change the name to suit their market. However, the Facebook profile URL cannot be changed once it has been assigned.
So, you can easily notice the difference in their name.
Lack of activity on their profile
Another telltale sign of a fake profile is the lack of activity on their Facebook profile. Click on their profile picture and check how many likes or comments they have. A fake profile will usually have a lot of likes on their picture and generic comments like wow, beautiful, so cute, etc., and the account holder hasn’t responded to either of the comments. A genuine person will at least reply with a thank you or gratitude.
Similarly, if you see, they have a lot of friends on their list, but hardly anyone comments on their status, like their posts or interacts with them, it should ring a bell. You can also check on the more button on their profile to have a detailed look at their activity, such as Check-ins, videos, sports, music, movies, etc. In case there’s no or very little activity, you know what that means.
Some other signs of a lack of activity on a Facebook profile are:
- The Account doesn’t initiate a conversation, message, or respond to your messages.
- The account has lots of likes on its status updates.
- The account has a blank wall.
A Particular Kind of activity
Next comes reading their timeline and following their activity for some time. If a user is posting too many links to a particular website or a particular kind of stuff, it’s a clear indication that the account is promoting a particular product or service. Facebook users like to share different things such as videos, music, jokes, memes, and more. Genuine people also share their activities such as reading a particular book, going to a particular travel destination, listening to a particular song, or just chilling with particular friends.
You can also scroll down their timeline to notice what they are sharing at present and then compare it with what they used to share back in the day. If you notice any shift in the type of content they usually share, bingo! You caught a fake profile. Well, this isn’t always the case. Still, when you combine this with other indicators of a fake profile that we shared earlier, you can easily draw a conclusion about whether they are fake or not.
General Tips to Stay Safe from Facebook
- Don’t add friends based on their pictures only if there isn’t anything about them online (like a Wikipedia page) or on their friend’s list
- Look them up on Google before adding
- Think twice before adding someone out of nowhere
- Make sure the people you meet online are trustable
- NEVER do private chats with random strangers
- It’s better to meet new people in public places rather than doing things privately (especially one-to-one)
Bonus: Top Risks Associated With Facebook
Now that you know how to spot a fake Facebook account, it’s time to learn about other dangers on the app. Moreover, we all can acknowledge how unsafe the internet can be.
Additionally, these social media platforms can act as libraries of personal information. Therefore, it is significant to keep an eye on the potential scams they could accompany.
Consequently, checking fake profiles and fake Facebook accounts isn’t enough. Therefore, look at some other scams as well and become an aware Facebook user.
Overlooking Your Prospective Audience
It’s tempting to accept all of your buddy requests when you get a lot of them. Moreover, you don’t want to harm anyone’s feelings.
However, it’s important to remember who you’ve added as friends throughout history and who could be viewing your profile. Hence, sometimes a fake Facebook profile could be the least of your problems. Instead, the real Facebook friends you have added might cause problems.
Further, there are several instances of people who have paid the price for saying too much on Facebook. Therefore, avoid publishing anything that could get you into problems with your spouse, boss, or cops.
Shady Third-Party Apps
Third-party apps on Facebook are among the main culprits for data harvesting in the social media sector. Plus, they are also notorious for misusing email accounts and user data on a daily basis.
Remember that thieves only require a little amount of personal information to steal your identity and use it to apply for credit cards. Furthermore, they can even commit serious crimes in your name.
Therefore, in addition to wondering how to delete fake friends, you should also think about these apps.
Facebook is a specialist at pulling you in and holding you there for hours at a stretch. There are various things to do—chat with pals, change your profile photo, share information, and so on.
Thus, it’s all too easy to let Facebook get in the middle of crucial tasks or a simple hang out with pals in person. As a result, it’s critical to restrict your consumption and take a rest now and again.
Here’s how to keep your addiction in check:
- Leverage Facebook as a motivator to finish another task.
- Remove any games that are consuming too much of your time.
- For a week or so, take a break from Facebook.
Facebook Selling Scams
Facebook Marketplace debuted in 2007 but was a disaster until it was relaunched in 2016. However, since its rebirth, it has emerged as one of the most popular online selling sites.
Nevertheless, with rising popularity, there has also been a rise in the number of frauds. Thus, even a real Facebook profile could fool you neatly.
Hence, the following are some of the most typical scams to avoid:
Phony designer apparel, bootleg CDs, and even phony tech equipment are routinely featured. Plus, they are readily missed by the inexperienced eye.
Shady Payment Techniques
Scammers will often advise non-traditional payment methods in the hopes of “avoiding expenses.” Adhere to PayPal or Facebook Checkout to be secure.
Early Payment or Shipment Requests
If your vendor asks for money up first to “hold the item” or “show you’re a serious buyer,” you should be suspicious.
If you’re purchasing a large package, you may need to see the vendor in-person to complete the transaction. Consequently, make sure you do so in a well-lit, public area.
All things considered, there are several ways to identify real Facebook accounts and also tell which accounts are fake. But, none of the ways is proof in itself that an account is fake. Maybe someone likes to stay reserved and not share their real picture or day-to-day activity online.
Some people like to avoid posting about themselves online because of privacy concerns. Old people, in particular, don’t like to share all the stuff about themselves online like the youngsters.
Hence, a fake Facebook profile checker shouldn’t be your only tool. Therefore, we suggest you look for a combination of all the signs we mentioned above. This is sufficient if you want to know how to spot a fake Facebook account.
In case you notice more of these signs in a profile, they are more likely to be fake. You can go through the Facebook fake account checker online to confirm your suspicion.
Next, you can learn how to delete a Fake Facebook account and remove the nuisance once and for all.