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How To Spot Fake Profiles Online

By on 2020-04-21 12:58:44, 0 Comments

fake profiles

Social media, dating apps, and other sites are meant to bring real people together through the internet. However, not all people who create accounts and profiles do so with the right intentions. Often, people create fake social media, dating app, and other online profiles to deceive others for personal gain, criminal or not. According to Digital Information World, 26% of people have created fake social media accounts. To protect yourself from these scammers, learn more about fake profiles and how to spot them online. 


What Is A Fake Profile? 

A fake profile is when someone creates an online account and profile that is not of them. It could be a completely made up person or an impersonation of a real person. Fake accounts contain false information including photos, personal information, interests, jobs, educational history, and more. If the profile is mimicking a real person, it can be difficult for someone to tell that it’s a fake profile. Typically, fake profiles are created on social media platforms, dating apps, email addresses, and private messaging apps. 


Why Would Someone Create A Fake Profile? 

  • Catfishing

People who want to find love easier will often create a fake profile impersonating someone young and good looking. Their photos of course will look attractive, and they will include attractive attributes like having a Master’s Degree or living in a desirable location. Catfishers will use their profile to establish relationships with others, never truly revealing who they really are to their victim. In some cases, catfishing isn’t done with romantic intentions, but just to find new friends or for financial gain. 

  • Snoop On Others

On social media and dating sites specifically, many people want to snoop on past friends, exes, crushes, or even their spouse. However, they want to make sure the person doesn’t realize that they are looking at their profile. To help cover this up, they will create fake accounts so they don’t get found out. 

  • Identity Theft

A tactic of identity theft is creating accounts that mimic those who are already on sites and apps. They will create a profile that looks exactly like another person, friend/follow their friends, and impersonate them. If the identity thief is sneaky enough, they will not be found out and will find the information they are seeking. 

  • Online Predators

Kids are using social media at earlier ages now, even though most platforms require their users to be at least 13 years old. Online predators create social media profiles on Facebook, Twitter, Snapchat, Instagram, and TikTok and tailor them towards their victims. They create a new identity of someone who is similar in age and has similar interests with their victim. By having an attractive profile, the victim is more likely to be trusting of the online predator. After the connection has been made, the predator will ask the victim to provide them with personal information, photos of themselves, and possibly request to meet in-person. 


Clear Signs An Online Profile Is Fake

– They Use Stock Images

A profile is clearly fake if it uses stock images as the profile photo. To make sure it’s a stock image and not just a professionally taken picture, do a Google image search of it. The search will show you similar images to the one you searched and where they came from. Some common stock image sites include Shutterstock, Unsplash, Pixabay, and Pexels. 

– They Have Very Few Photos 

No matter what the profile is for, a typical user usually has many photos of themselves, pets, family, and friends. If the profile only contains 1 or 2 images and has been around a while, it is likely fake. 

– They Have A Small Number of Friends/Followers

If someone on social media only has 10 friends and has had the account for a while, the profile is definitely fake. How many friends do you have on your Instagram or Facebook account? Likely, a couple hundred to thousands of people. 

– The Person Seems Too Good To Be True

On dating apps, a key sign someone is catfishing you is if their profile seems too good to be true. For example, they are a millionaire doctor living in Los Angeles who is all about traveling and philanthropy. Not to mention that they are absolutely gorgeous! Any girl would love to be with a man like this. And that’s how catfishers attempt to reel you into their scam. 

– Profile Information Is Missing

Someone assuming a fake identity online may avoid providing too much fake information. By providing little to no information on their online profile, they can avoid getting caught in a lie later on. 

– They Are Too Forward When Contacting You

Does someone you just met online seem a little too anxious to know more about you? Are they asking you very personal questions like your pet’s names, where you live, full name, and for financial assistance? Someone you just met shouldn’t be so intrusive about knowing you. 

That is all there is to know about fake profiles online and how to spot them. Use our tips to protect yourself from getting scammed, catfished, and tricked.

Related Post: How to Tell If Someone Is Scamming You Online

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