How to spot a Fake Facebook Profile/Account: 6 different signs

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The social network is an integral part of our life nowadays, and from connecting with our old friends to meeting new people, social networks make it a piece of cake for us. On using social networks in a useful way, we can even boost our productivity, get news about what’s happening around us, get our dream job, catch up some important events and updates, and everything else you can imagine. But we all come across one menace within the unseen walls of social networks. Fake profiles! Fake profiles on social networks are created for a number of reasons, and whatever may the reason be, it is against the terms and conditions of almost all the social networking platforms.

I am not here to make you aware of the consequences, you might face, for not adhering yourself to the terms and conditions, but I will help you to easily keep away or simply ignore fake profiles so that you never again get victimized by fake people, groups, or any other element of social networks. Social networks in the worst case can be a trap for you, and you might end up being emotionally or economically exhausted, both of which can lead to extreme circumstances. So I will discuss some of the easiest ways to recognize fake accounts on social networks without taking an enormous your valuable time. Here are 6 different sign to spot fake Instagram accounts/Facebook profiles and other social media accounts.

So let’s get started with the ways.

How to spot fake social media accounts

Look at the name and profile URL

Fake Facebook Profile

When it comes to Facebook, Instagram or any other major social network, a unique URL can be assigned to an individual person to share the profile link easily with others to communicate. The last part of the URL should be in most cases, the name of the user, and sometimes, it can also be a number associated with a name. It might not be the same as the name of the person, but should be close. You must have got, what exactly I mean to say.

If the name of the user doesn’t invariably match the last part of the profile URL, it can be a sign, the user isn’t genuine. Though it can’t be a final verdict to state, the owner of the profile isn’t genuine, but it should be something that you should ponder. Else, if you have contacted the person before, you can ask the user the reason behind such a mismatch.

Check the profile picture

Check the profile picture

However genuine it might look, fake profiles can never have genuine profile pictures, because the person doesn’t exist at all in this enchanting world. Need explanation why? Surely not! Fake profile owners generally resort to one of the two ways to choose a display or profile picture aka. DP. They either choose some random images of celebrities from the internet or photo collection and use that in a hurry, or find a suitable profile or portal to steal images, and use the images as their own display pictures from time to time.

When it comes to the first case, you can easily recognize fake images, and just in case, you can’t be sure, do a reverse image search of the picture to ensure, the image isn’t downloaded from someplace on the internet. But if you find a match, the photo is fake, and chances are high, the profile too, is.

If the person has stolen images from another person’s profile, it can be a challenging task to take a decision about the authenticity of the profile.

So be alert. Examine the other points too.

Look at work, schooling and other related info

Fake profile owners in most cases do not provide the work and other related information in a full-fledged way. For example, they might enter the name of the university or the place they work at, but that will not contain the course they are pursuing or the post they are working at. Though most genuine users, as well might even ignore such things, so you should not take it too seriously.

But it is worth paying some extra attention to the names of the schools, colleges, universities or the workplaces of a susceptible fake profile. Creators of fake profiles in most cases struggle to find a place, school or workplace, the fake user lives, studies or works in. That being said, most fake profile owners might add names of generic places schools, universities or workplaces. A fake profile thus can have the following information like ‘Studies in Madurai College’, ‘Works at Madurai Supermarket’ or something of that sort. Users provide such information as they are not aware of the place or do not have enough insights about the places the imaginary and fake user lives or works.

Just in case you find such personal information, peep into other nooks and corners of the profile.

Look at the public posts

Not all users of genuine profiles post things publicly, and thus, it can’t be used as a key to mark a profile to be fake. But, ideally there can be some posts, which can be available publicly, and those posts can say you a lot about the authenticity of a profile, or the owner of the same.

Now you should look closely at the public posts made by a user. If the posts are specifically meant to promote some product or sell advertisements, or it lands you to some creepy website, which isn’t secure or seems to be cheap at first glance, you should be close to sure, the profile is fake. The sole intention of such profiles is to sell ads, instead of being an actual person. If you get into a conversation with such persons, the owner might even ask you to visit some links or ask you to carry out some activities there, which can be profitable or be a source of revenue for them. Such profiles might even have display pictures to allure people to visit the profiles so that the ads or other public posts get enough exposure.

Look at the comments, and the reactions, as well

A fake profile can also be a part of a fake profile network operated by one or multiple persons. So if you come across a susceptible fake profile, you might find some comments and reactions made by other people to support that and make others feel, the profile belongs to a real person. On visiting the profiles of a few of them, you might reveal, such profiles also have similar details or posts, which might make you ponder, that is a fake profile, as well. In such a situation, the profile you have visited first might be a part of a fake profile network.

Have a look at the friend list

When it comes to Facebook or other social networking websites, where you can get connected to new people being friends, the friend list, if visible, can help you know whether the profile has a real owner or fake. Most users, who have fake profiles, will not have friends, who have gone or is going to the same school or university, or those who work in the same place. The reason is simple. If you find a fake profile, which says the person is reading in the same college, where you are, you and others of your college will straight away report that profile, needless to say for being fake. So that might say a lot about the authenticity of a profile. Come on! Nobody is so introvert to not accept friend requests from people, whom they meet every single day.

But this indicator might not work like a charm if the profile is a part of a fake profile group, where the fake profiles have the same workplaces and other necessary details. This can mislead you to think, the profile is true, but it isn’t. This might be a little difficult to trace a fake profile, which is a part of a network but isn’t impossible at all. Have a look at the other susceptible profiles. Are those profiles providing some satisfactory information to make you think those profiles are genuine? No! Repeat it for one or two more profiles. No, not for every single one in the list. Your time is precious! Once you find out, a maximum of 3 or 4 profiles seems to be fake, it is a network of fake profiles. Coincidence doesn’t happen too often!

So those were the few ways to find out a fake profile. But wait! There are a number of reasons, people create fake profiles. Some may open it for the purpose of spying on others, while others might open it to sell ads. Sometimes, people can even open fake profiles to do some activities, which they can’t do on their real profiles to maintain a good image among friends, or just for having some fun.

In almost all the cases, the above ways can surely help you to find out the fake profiles, whatever may be the intention of opening them. You are not appointed a spy by the social networking websites to keep an eye on fake profiles. Doing all the litmus tests to conclude the authenticity of a profile you come across might take some precious minutes, or sometimes hours, from your day. So better apply the tests, if you really have the need to know the authenticity of the person. Maybe, you need to count on that person for some of your needs or want to save yourself, your family or somebody else from a susceptible scam. In such a situation, spending some time to apply all the tests, make sense, else let the fake profile owners spend their time doing rubbish, and let Karma do his job.

Once you come across any susceptible fake profile and come to know, it is indeed fake, report it immediately, and ask others to do the same, and take part in making social networks, and hence the internet a good and trustworthy place for all of us.

Hope the information was helpful for you. Do you know any other great way of knowing whether a profile is fake? Feel free to comment the same down below.

Sarbasish Basu
From B.Tech (Hons.) Electronics & Instrumentation Engineer to Photography and Writing blogs; he ultimately has answers to everything. Oh, and he's also quite good in rapidly building a relationship and set up the trust; his articles are proof of that...


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