How to Spot Fake Facebook Profile

Facebook crossed 2.3 Billion users this year. Last year Facebook estimated that more than 10% of these accounts are fake or duplicates. 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?

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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, or 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.

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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.

Check 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,

How to Spot a Fake Facebook Profile

Now open Google Image search and click on the Camera icon

Search on Google Image 1

Click on Upload an image and then click on Choose file, select the profile picture and upload it.

Search on Google Image 2

Read the About Section

Another way to spot a fake Facebook profile is to look in the about section. Genuine people on Facebook like to enter their accomplishments in detail. They would adequately list their school, college, previous and current employment, etc. If you see nothing on the about section, then it might be a fake account.

Check About Section

Also, when you see lots of patterns 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 in 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, or Stanford University.

Check Friend List

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 fewer 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?

Check the Friend List - Spot Fake Facebook Account

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.

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’s Facebook account is hacked and then operated under another person’s name, or if the account was created for some other activity, and then they change the name to promote different topics.

Different Name in URL and Profile

For example, someone creates an account to promote things for the American people, and then they decided to use the same account to push content to Saudi Arabs, so he or she changed the name. However, a different name in the URL and profile is not a clear indication that the account is fake, but if we relate it with other factors, it could be a clear sign.

Read the Timeline

Now it comes to reading 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.

Read the Timeline

Users on Facebook shares different things like jokes, music, video, or pictures. They also share their activity like traveling, reading, and listening. If you don’t see such different types of posts, then it could also be a sign of a 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.

Check the 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’ accounts 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.

Lack of Interaction 2

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.

Lack of Interaction

If you see no such activity, then the profile is not genuine.

Read the Timeline


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 concerns. It usually happens with old-age people 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.

26 thoughts on “How to Spot Fake Facebook Profile”

  1. First, my compliments on the website, nice and easy to navigate.
    Going into the nitty gritty of #5 and #6, I check for those kinds of things. I have nearly 5000 friends and every now and then I get a request that ‘seems’ to pass all that, but I find a few patterns suspicious. One is when they post a wide variety of subjects, as if fishing for one that you’re interested in, within minutes of each other, or some 3 in the same minute sometimes. Often they have some scattered comments, but from the same small set of users and then I try to see i the comments are relevant or just kind of generic.

    I searched for your article because I do need to trim them, but 5,000 is a lot to go through.
    Good Article, Thank you

  2. great article, i see a lot of empty profiles/pictures on my friends list. I have been deleting all morning. One cannot be too careful these days…

    Thank you

    • Debbie James, you have no profile picture, hypocritical one would think, but perhaps you are trying to be safe. MAybe they are also..

  3. I run a Facebook group and I have noticed people applying with an Anglo-American name, but all of their friends are Vietnamese, or Philipino. To me, that is a red herring as well. Their profiles are often empty or with purposely erroneous answers/facts such as “Graduated from “Blackjack University” or works at “Whyme Products”

  4. Hi my name is Austin I’ve checked fb market place and this guy is selling a truck I checked his profile no post , nothing but a pic of a fire pole and says fire department he has 6 friends all girls they haven’t updated or posted since a few years ago , he has no places of work , lived , nothing else leaves me to question

  5. I notice almost all fake fb accounts are people from W. Africa. They always use a beautiful white woman as their profile photo. If you scroll down you will usually come across a pic or two of the actual account creator. It’s so obvious, and they hardly ever have any mutual friends. And there is no need to report them to FB, they use AI to determine if it is real, and they won’t take it down. So annoying.

    • Yes, the poor spelling and the grammar was totally off do not understand certain phrases. They Don’t ask the right questions giving you bad answers That’s how you can tell and the responses sometimes too illiterate to fit the picture of a pretty American white woman.. Then the magic question “money”

  6. If the profile photo and inbox messages disappear, can it also be a false profile? Only my own comments are still there. In another case the name and profile picture has changed, but the comments for the previous profile are still there. It seems I was scammed to pay a lot of money. The latest was I got a screenshot of a facebook message from somebody on whatsapp. When I checked the profile, the post was there, but it has also disappeared.

  7. Wow, my FB profile must look so fake… I hate pictures of myself and I have no friends. Or family. The only people I ever interact with are random strangers that were kind enough to accept my desperate friendrequest, people that I have never met and never will meet. I am just lonely and pathetic.

  8. My friend has lots of Cambodian beauties on his facebook friends. He only has one short message to one of them ‘Hi, my name is …..nice to meet you’ there is nor reply. He has soem of his family as friends (he’s single) with a couple of messages to one of them.and a short reply to him. No others.
    The page is about 2/3 yrs old with no recent activity. He says It was set up without his knowledge at first, but then he decided to use it a couple of times as it was there (he didn’t have a facebook account prior to that. He goes out to Cambodia about once a year to see a male friend. Do you think he is lying and is a sex tourist?

  9. I was recently scammed by someone i found out had faked a FB profile so I totally appreciate this information & found it very helpful. Commenting that the writer’s profile of this article also looks suspicious seems ignorant to me since there’s really nothing for them to gain- completely unlike many of the ones purposely created on social media such as Facebook, etc.
    Thank u

  10. On facebook messenger, I used a video call to talk to a live person. That’s how I know it’s a real person. If not, I just plain block the whole account

  11. Another clue is when you get friend requests from people who are already your friend. You need to report those to Facebook. Also bad spelling and grammar when you expect it to be better.


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