First of all, why would there be a need for a fake profile?
The short answer is that the “scammer” is up to no good, and wants to take advantage of someone else.
Here are a few ways to spot why profiles might be fake and how to avoid them:
↠ No background image on the profile
This is a common practice with a new Facebook account. It is something not usually attended to by the one creating the fake account. They tend to get one photo of a pretty female and don’t want to waste time creating a complete account, when they know sooner or later they will be shut down.
↠ Same picture (clothing) for the background as used for the profile picture
Their only other option is to grab two or three images for the fake profile and use either the same photo or one taken with the same clothes on. Knowing the profile won’t last more than a few months before being taken down, scammer s don’t want to spend a lot of time setting up the profile and waste images they have stolen.
↠ The account or profile is not usually older than a few months
These profiles are typically found out and terminated relatively quickly by Facebook. Because of this, they have to create new ones all the time. Due to haste, they don’t waste time making polishing off the profile and get straight to request WhatsApp numbers .
↠ Almost always only male friends
Because this kind of scam is to attract males, to get money from them, scammer s usually target men, usually in the age bracket 40 and older. They believe these men are lonely and will be willing to spend money.
↠ Ask for the WhatsApp number
If you happen to accept friendship very quickly, they will message you through Facebook messenger and ask you how you are; then what work you do, if you are alone and want to have fun. Finally they ask for your WhatsApp number so that they can carry on communication, even after the profile has been found and deleted. A good question to ask scammers is why they need your WhatsApp number, if they are already chatting on Facebook messenger. DATA will be the answer.
↠ Self-employed as an occupation
In the past they wouldn’t state a place of employment, but now they have wised up a bit and list self-employed. If they do list a job by some place, it’s usually a place that doesn’t have a real Facebook page so that nothing can be confirmed .
↠ No personal information filled in
They will usually only list the place they live but no other information. They never use the profile to check-in somewhere or even follow a page or group. All the time is spent to attract men of the right age and try to get them on WhatsApp. As we all know, most people will complete some of the information when creating our account. Things we like and music we listen to. The scammer doesn’t waste the time because the profile won’t be active for very long.
↠ No family members listed
This should be a no-brainer because the profile is fake; the scammer doesn’t spend the time creating fake family. Yes, some people are private and don’t want to list every one of their relatives on Facebook BUT it’s a big tell-tale sign.
↠ It’s a complicated relationship
Just like with the no family listed, the scammer doesn’t take the time to create a spouse. The profile seems far more real with a relationship status. Being married would defeat the purpose, hence its complicated. It would be far better to say “widow” or “divorced” and use the sob story to attract sympathy.
↠ Education and Studies
This information also used to be left empty with previous scams but now it is usually filled in with the largest university in the area. The scammer knows that there is no way you can validate it and it makes the profile look a little more legit.
A new trend is to create a profile and let it sit for a year to age before using it. They leave it as a blank profile or put an abstract image as the profile. Take notice of when the profile image was last updated and when the last posts were made.
The scammer usually posts a pretty or sexy photo to attract comments and then privately messages them . Unless you actually know the person or see more activity than a sexy photo as a post, don’t fall into the scammer’s trap.
The best action to take is to view the fake profile account, click the three dots next to Message and select Block. You can then block that person from ever finding you again and report it as a fake account or spam. Facebook will then ask that account to confirm that they are real and because they can’t, it will be deleted.
The rule of thumb is to be careful from whom you accept friendship and with whom you share your details. There are scammers out there trying to get monies out of you, or even to get enough information to be able to commit identity fraud.
Be safe and enjoy your social media life.