It can be quite an unpleasant experience to see someone impersonating you, someone you know, or a celebrity or a brand on Facebook. Most times, it is even difficult for most people to differentiate between false and real profiles on Facebook.
If you notice a fake account, do not hesitate to report it. Not only are fake accounts frustrating, but they also go against Facebook’s Community Standards.
In fact, in the first half of 2022 alone, Facebook took alone, Facebook took a whopping 1.7 Billion fake accounts.
So, next time you run into a fake account on Facebook, do not fret! Read on to discover how to report a fake account on Facebook.
Why you should report a fake account on Facebook
Before we get into how to block a fake Facebook account, here are a few reasons why you should not hesitate to report a fake account on Facebook.
- It helps reduce the rate of Cybercrimes.
You might wonder why you even need to learn how to report a fake account on Facebook since fake Facebook accounts are, at most, an annoyance. In the first light, fake accounts on Facebook can be seen as an annoyance or inconvenience. However, if you look closer, you will see the threat fake accounts on Facebook poses.
For instance, if it’s a fake business account, imagine the number of people that would get scammed if they thought it was a real business account. Other cybercrimes on Facebook include catfishing, fake charities, and phishing scams, all done with fake accounts.
So, reporting fake accounts would help reduce the rate of Cybercrimes on Facebook. If you do not know how to report fake accounts, stick around till the end of the article to learn how to report a fake account on Facebook.
- You help the Facebook community be safer.
Facebook is one of the biggest social media platforms in the world, with 2.85 billion users monthly! It is a social media platform created for friends and family to catch up and share their favourite moments through pictures and thoughts.
However, with the emergence and increase of fake Facebook accounts, this experience is ruined and makes the Facebook community less safe. Fake Facebook accounts lead to increased loss of sensitive information, leading to a less safe community. When you report fake accounts, you help make Facebook safer.
- It helps Facebook remove fake accounts from the platform
Fake Facebook accounts are a significant threat, and Facebook is actively working to remove these fake accounts. However, a fake account is often removed only when it is reported. So when you report a fake account, you help Facebook identify and remove these fake accounts.
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How to report a fake account on Facebook
Now that you know a few reasons you should report fake accounts, here is how to report a fake account on Facebook.
- Open Facebook.
- Go to the profile you want to report:
You can find the profile you want to report by searching for the name used on the profile or asking for the profile link from the person being impersonated.
- Click on the three dots below the cover picture.
- Click on Find support or report.
- Lastly, follow the prompt to report the fake account.
Telltale signs a Facebook account is fake
Now that you know how to report a fake account on Facebook, here are a few signs that an account is fake. When you know how to identify fake accounts, you will have an easier time reporting those accounts.
- The profile picture
The profile picture is one of the biggest tell-tale signs of a fake Facebook account. Some fake accounts use pictures of attractive people to lure them in, while others just download photos off the internet. If a picture looks fake or looks like it came from the internet, a Google image search will show you if there are online matches.
Fake accounts also tend to use pictures of celebrities as their profile pictures. While it’s normal for people to use pictures of their favourite celebs as their profile pictures, you should be wary if they post no personal pictures of themselves.
- They shy away from conversations.
Most fake accounts, particularly those that impersonate others, tend to shy away from deep or conversational topics. This is because the account is either run by bots or people that do not know anything about you. For this reason, they tend to avoid conversations because they can easily be exposed. An excellent way to discover if an account is real or not is by striking up a conversation.
- Friend requests from people with zero to few mutual friends
Receiving several friend requests from accounts with whom you have no mutual friends may indicate that you are the victim of a fake account. Sadly, many fake profiles exist just to deceive one person. These are more challenging to spot because they seem more credible after learning a lot about you.
However, when you take some time to monitor their activities and learn more about them, you will discover a few inconsistencies along the way.
- False accounts frequently promote ad-heavy and poor-quality websites.
Since many legitimate users also share low-quality or fraudulent news sites, doing so alone is not sufficient evidence of a fake account. However, if the account frequently promotes poor-quality websites, that’s a red flag that it’s likely fake.
Some fake profiles may attempt to trick you into visiting a third-party site. Likely, the site is heavily monetized through advertising, with the proprietor receiving a cut from the advertisers for each user they attract.
- Change in the type of content they post
One of the most prominent telltale signs an account is fake is a change in the type of content they post. Let’s say you spot a fake account impersonating someone you know. The type of content they post will be vastly different from the type that person posts.
- Little to no posts, images, and engagement
If you spend some time browsing through the profiles of people on Facebook, you will notice that almost everyone posts pictures of themselves. Even though they do not post frequently, most people have profile pictures, different types of content, a friend list, and profile pictures from previous years.
On the other hand, fake accounts will usually have zero to no posts, no pictures, or zero comments on their posts. Another thing to note is that having little to no posts on an older person’s account is expected, as they value privacy. However, if it’s a Gen Z account, you should be wary, as younger people tend to post more.
- Suspicious Facebook bio
Facebook has a fantastic bio feature that allows people to share some information about themselves. When a person’s bio has some suspicious details, chances are it’s a fake account.
For instance, if a person writes on their bio that they live in the United States but went to school in China, it’s probably a fake account.
- Friend request from someone already on your friend list
This has to be one of the most telltale signs that an account is fake or a cloned one. When you suddenly receive a friend request from someone on your friend list, one of the first things you should do is go through their wall.
If the type of content they post is different from the type of content the original account posts, then it’s probably a fake account.
Also, if someone on your friend list should create a new account, they would probably tell you about it and their reasons for creating a new account. And, often, they will stop posting on their old account if they create a new one.
You can confirm if the new account is theirs by sending them a DM on their old account. Ask them if the new account is theirs. The new account is theirs if they say yes or never respond.
Damages fake Facebook accounts cause
Fake Facebook accounts are not just annoying. But, they also cause much damage and issues for other people.
Below are a few of the damages fake Facebook accounts cause, from cyberbullying to cybercrime.
- Fake Facebook accounts violate Facebook’s terms of service
According to Facebook’s terms of service, you are only allowed to create an account with the name you use daily. Also, all the information you provide about yourself must be accurate, and you should ideally create just one account for personal use. Facebook created these rules to ensure that the Facebook community remains safe.
However, fake Facebook accounts violate these terms because most fake accounts are created with fake names and information. And in turn, the Facebook community is less safe.
Besides violating Facebook’s terms, most fake Facebook accounts are guilty of misrepresentation. As long as a fake Facebook account uploads a picture of someone else on their profile, they are of a few crimes, such as
- Identity theft.
- Copyright infringement is if they downloaded the picture off the internet.
- Theft of intellectual property.
Social media is a big part of every person’s life in this day and age. The average person spends two hours a day on social media, with most people spending an average of 58 minutes on Facebook daily.
However, with the increase in internet fraud, Social media is becoming less of a haven. In 2021 alone, social media fraud cost users roughly $770 million, according to reports from over 95,000 victims. This is a staggering eighteen-fold rise over 2017’s recorded losses and accounts for nearly 25% of 2021’s total losses due to fraud.
Fake Facebook accounts are typically used to scam unsuspecting victims. Scammers on Facebook often succeed in getting their targets to click on links by seeming to offer something of value to the vast majority of users. One common tactic is to give away a prize, such as a gift voucher, in exchange for a simple click. After that, fraudsters would ask for sensitive information like credit card details before releasing the prize.
According to Facebook’s terms of service, a person is not allowed to join the platform if they are a convicted sex offender.
However, with fake accounts, sex offenders can easily have an account on Facebook. Predators and sex offenders frequently use fake Facebook accounts to meet vulnerable young people, often by disguising themselves as students. Because of fake Facebook accounts, the amount of reports of harassment on Facebook, ranging from sexual to physical, has increased dramatically in recent years. If you are experiencing any form of harassment on Facebook, do not hesitate to report it.
On Facebook, the word “stalking” is commonly used flippantly to describe someone’s habit of checking up on their page. However, stalkers and criminals can use fake Facebook accounts to cyberstalk their unsuspecting victims. Cyberstalking is sometimes dismissed as a minor annoyance. Still, Cyberstalking should be treated as a big issue because it can escalate to more severe forms of stalking or perhaps even physical harm if it isn’t addressed.
Fake Facebook accounts cause many issues, so you should never hesitate to report a fake account. Now that you have read this article, you must have learned how to spot a fake account and how to report a fake account on Facebook.
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