Facebook crossed 2.3 Billion users this year. Last year Facebook estimated that more than 10% of these accounts are fake or duplicate. Facebook is adopting several strategies to point out fake profiles, but it is not enough. It is not just a concern for Facebook, but it is also a concern of real users like me and you. How do we trust a person on Facebook?
I have seen several users complaining that they got duped by some other fake person on Facebook. Usually, the phony profile is created to promote some content, ideas or to fraud other persons. A genuine user will share his daily activity or thoughts on Facebook which could be random as we like different things. However, a fake profile usually shares about one thing that it is meant to promote.
If you look carefully at the profile, you can tell whether the profile is fake or genuine. Below are some points that you can consider to spot a fake Facebook profile.
#1 Check: The Profile Picture
The first thing you see in a profile on Facebook is their profile picture. You can tell if a profile is genuine or fake by looking at it. Below are some concerns that you should check with the profile picture.
Single Profile Picture
An active user on Facebook regularly changes his/her profile picture. If you see only one profile picture and the profile is new or 2-3 years old, it should raise a concern.
Profile Pictures of Celebrities
Its okay if someone is a fan of a celebrity, but he will not put all profile pictures of that celebrity on his Facebook profile.
No Profile Picture
The Facebook name is enough to compel someone to put a picture on the profile. If it is not there, it is alarming enough.
A Perfect Profile Picture
Usually, people click pictures with the phone camera, and these pictures aren’t perfect. If you are seeing a picture of a model with a perfect angle and lighting, then it might be a fake one.
To ensure if a profile picture is genuine you can save it to your computer and then can use Google Image Search to verify. When you upload it to Google Image, it will fetch data if someone else belongs to that image.
To do that Right click on the profile picture and click Save image as and then save it to your computer,
Now open Google Image search and click on the Camera icon
Click on Upload an image and then click on Choose file, select the profile picture and upload it.
#2 Check: Read the About Section
Another way to spot a fake Facebook profile is to look on the about section. Genuine people on Facebook like to enter their accomplishment in detail. They would adequately list their school, college, previous and current employment, etc. If you see nothing on about section, then it might be a fake account.
Also, when you see lots of pattern like Works in California, Went to the University of California, Lives in California, then it is a sign of a fake account. Fake account creators don’t go into details they fill common and famous things to look credible. It could be the renowned name of famous places like New York, California, Los Angles, Texas, Or it could be the name of famous universities like Harvard University, New York University, Stanford University.
#3 Check: Friends
Now it’s time to check the friend list; a genuine person would like to connect with more local persons. When you see so many foreign friends, and no or less local friends, then it could be a fake profile. If a person is from New York then why would he connect with so many Saudi Arab Emirates persons?
If it is a girl profile and you see 3-4K friends on the list, then it should raise a red flag. Usually, genuine girls on Facebook don’t like unknown people, and they have limited friends. When you see so many friends, and most of them are fake, then don’t accept the friend request and block the person.
#4 Check: Different Name in URL and Profile
Many fake Facebook accounts have different names in the URL and the profile. It happens when a genuine person account is hacked and then operated under another person name, or if the account was created for some other activity, and then they change the name to promote different topics.
For example, someone creates an account to promote things for American people and then they decided to use the same account to push content to Saudi Arab, so he or she changed the name. However, different name in URL and profile is not a clear indication that account is fake, but if we relate it with other factors, it could be a clear sign.
#5 Check: Read the Timeline
Now it comes to read the Timeline. If a user is posting too many links of one or many websites with lots of ads, then it is clear that the account is for promotion and it is likely to be a fake account.
Users on Facebook shares different things like jokes, music, video, or pictures. They also share their activity like traveling, reading, listening. If you don’t see such different types of posts, then it could also be a sign of fake account. Just scroll the timeline to grasp what users are sharing and compare it with what they were sharing earlier. Shifting of content on the timeline indicates the same.
#6 Check: Lack of Interactions on the Posts
Now check the profile carefully, click on the pictures and check the likes and comments. When you see so many likes, and generic comments on pictures of girls account like beautiful, cute, sweet, and the account holder hasn’t replied to anyone then it is a sign of a fake profile. A genuine person at least thanks when someone comments on his or her picture.
Another sign is when you see lots of friends in the friend list, and very few of them like and comment on the posts then it also rings a bell. Click on the More button to see more activity like Check-ins, Music, Films, TV-Programme, etc.
If you see no such activity, then the profile is not genuine.
There are lots of ways to identify a fake Facebook account; however, none of them are proof that the account is fake. Maybe someone doesn’t willingly display their original picture or listed his or her actual about section for privacy concern. It usually happens with old age person they don’t like to share everything on Facebook. However, this doesn’t happen with younger persons. They wish to advertise everything they do. If you see such hidden things on a profile of a younger person, then it is suspicious. Also in the final step to confirm you can send a personal message to the person to see if they reply. Most fake account holder doesn’t like to respond.