Fake accounts on social networking sites aren’t a new thing. Facebook have been trying to prevent and block fake accounts for sometime, but recently there seems to have been an influx new fake accounts.
Open networkers aren’t just on Linkedin – there are those of us who love to connect to new and interesting people on many networks – the more the merrier, but its really time to be a bit more careful about who we connect with.
As we discussed recently in a Xeeme group, these accounts might be created for many reasons, these fakers could be looking to either collect information from us or steal information to sell to the highest bidder.
The dangers of Fake Accounts on Social Networking Sites?
- Dating Scammers
- Data Thieves
- Identity Fraud
Basically there is a con there somewhere, and not someone you want to be friends with.
They target a group of friends, adding them all as friends very quickly – creating an illusion of trust, we think that if they are friends with 100 of my friends so they must be alright. By us not checking these people out we are also making our friends fall for the trap.
These fake accounts might be trying to find information about you, maybe by collecting that information from your sites or networks from information you already provide. Or maybe they might try to fool you by befriending your friends and chatting with them also, then creating engagement with you.
How can you find out if an account is fake.
- Is there a profile picture ?
- Is the about me – or the profile info filled in
- Have they recently just started the account and already have many friends in common with you.
- Does the photo look like a stock image.
- Are there any other photos of themselves or family.
- Does the name seem fake?
- Are their many spelling mistakes on their profile, such as spelling their home town incorrectly.
Google image search
Take a copy of the profile picture and you can search for duplicates on Google Images – and you may find that this picture has been used for several networks with different names.
I love Google images search, I recently mentioned this in a post I wrote about available images to use on Social networks
Some Xeeme members noticed an account on Facebook that set off the alarms as above.
Jennifer Muhtaseb – had many mutual friends. Her account was started on the 24th of April – Hardly any information in the about me at all.
A Google image search proved very interesting.
There is also the same profile picture being used for a Sarah Dohse
And also a Jessica Foster
While I am not accusing this person of any of the dangers we listed above you have to be honest, this doesn’t look too good. It could be that Jessica Foster’s photo has been stolen as she has been on Facebook since 2011. This makes me think it might not be a bad idea to Google image search our own profile images from time to time.
Another one that I spotted was a California girl called Love Adiza.
When I searched for this image on Google images – many many sites appeared - mostly pointing to a girl from Ghana called Salia Emmanuel – but there are also two other names also on just the first page of Google. I will leave you to have your own opinion on how real this account is.
This high lights the Dating Scammers – We’ve all had them, those men that are only on social media to use the platforms as a online dating service – As Knikkolette Church at Spicie.com recently wrote.
This isn’t just a Facebook Problem, its apparently worse on LInked-in and even on Twitter. The problem is if they are following your many accounts and also your friends they can build up a profile and gain much information.
Personal security on Social Media
As we know, there is no privacy on social media, and most of us are used to that now but we need to know there are things that we shouldn’t share.
- Your Full Date of Birth
- Telephone Number
- Email Address
- New Purchases
- Bank details (obviously right?)
We all know not to share this information with strangers I know, but some of these Conmen or women, might try to gain your trust so you think of them as a friend which you then might share more detailed information.
There is no need to panic but its time to stay alert and be a little more vigilant than we have been.
If you do find any Fake accounts on Social Networking sites always try to report them – on Facebook please do block and report them you will find this option on the drop down on the cog ->
Hope this helps