Fake profiles on Facebook are a real scourge that the social network tries to remedy with more or less effective control systems. Despite this the risk of running into a fake profile on Facebook are quite high and can become a feat understand if we are dealing with a real person or to a person posing as “someone else” for disinformation, phishing, to organize identity theft (or theft of photos or shared material) or to get appointments.
In the following guide we will show you all the expert tricks for recognize fake profiles on Facebookso that you can avoid profiles that do not match the person indicated in the photo or in the information.
READ ALSO -> How to report Fake News on Facebook and Twitter
1) Fake profile picture
The first trick involves checking if the photo used as the profile picture is downloaded from the Internet; there are millions of photos of faces and people freely downloadable from the web and often these “beautiful and captivating” photos are the first sign that the profile in front of us is fake.
To download the profile picture, click on the suspicious profile, press the right mouse button on the photo (or long press on it, if we are on the phone) and use the voice to download the photo (Save Image As similar).
After downloading the photo let’s go to a site like TinEye Reverse Image Searchwe upload the photo within the service and check if it is already present on the Internet, in particular on free photo download sites.
To search for the photo we can also use Google Imagesas seen in our how-to guide find similar photos and similar images.
2) Timeline inconsistency
Many fake Facebook profiles are for sale in the Dark web and are often associated with stolen or hacked accounts many years ago, abandoned by the users themselves (who, unable to enter the profile, proceeded to create another one).
Once these fake profiles have been purchased, the bad guys immediately start using them to spread spam, to spread false news or to lure people to steal their photos, identities or other accounts (phishing and scams).
This though generates an inconsistency in the fake profile timeline which will not escape a careful eye: if the profile has only recently been “reactivated” we will see, scrolling through the timeline, old messages and photos (of the old owner) and newer messages (from the bad guys) totally inconsistentoften even in another language.
This inconsistency between old and new messages is often so obvious (in the shared language or content) that will not escape an attentive user, who will be able to instantly recognize a fake account and report it to Facebook.
3) Call for urgent help
Many fake Facebook accounts are created for the sole purpose of steal people’s moneyperhaps inventing heartbreaking stories or stories of immediate and urgent help.
These requests for help are shared via post or via private chat on Messenger; if after adding a suspicious profile we immediately receive a ask for help privately or we get tagged on a post with an emergency story, we distrust and proceed to report it.
This does not mean that all requests for help on Facebook are fake, but it is better to fully check the nature of the profile that contacted us and, if the request for help comes from a profile of a friend, relative or acquaintancelet’s contact him directly outside of Facebook to see if the request is real or if the profile has been hacked.
4) Accounts of friends without confidence
If we are contacted by profiles of friends or relatives it can be difficult to understand if the person using the profile is a scammer, but we can defend ourselves thanks to theattitude to avoid answering personal questions.
The attacker who stole the account of a friend of ours on Facebook in fact he knows nothing about us and, even by contacting us, he will categorically avoid answering questions that only we (and the person concerned) can know.
This could also be a effective trick to see if, on the other side of the profile, we are dealing with a bot: asking a very simple question “Do you remember how beautiful the evening spent with friends was 3 days ago?” to a profile that we fear has been hacked we will not receive any response or we will receive an affirmative response, even if we have not spent any evening with the person indicated by the profile.
If the account is new but pretends to be a longtime friend or acquaintance, we can ask precise questions about the area where we live (or lived when we were children) by hiding “tricks” to see if he answers truthfully or if it is a fake profile.
5) Accounts without mutual friends
This is probably the oldest trick we can perform: in the past it would have been almost impossible to apply but, with the new Facebook rules, receiving a friend request from a user who has no connection with us (not even a mutual friend) is highly suspicious.
We don’t add anyone we don’t know or, if the person who sent the request has at least one mutual friend, we are not afraid to contact the mutual friend and ask for information about this person who forwarded the request to us.
From the replies of our mutual friendship we could obtain valuable information on the contact and perhaps discover that our friend’s account has also been hacked. In this regard we can read our guide on how to find friends and people on Facebook.
With a few simple tricks it is possible to recognize most of the fake profiles on Facebook, without having to use third-party programs and without having to become a “Sherlock Holmes” looking for clues in the profile. A few targeted checks and a few precise questions are enough to immediately understand who we have on the other side of the PC or telephone.
Always on the subject of scams and fake accounts, we can read our guides on how recognize if an email is fake, scam, inauthentic come on how to restore profile if facebook suspends account.