The rise of online frauds and scams has made internet users more and more aware of the problems associated with sharing too much personal information online. Facebook, and social media sites like it, report that as many as 8.7% of accounts on its site are fake.
You might ask “what’s the point of creating a fake account?” It’s often to extract personal data that can then be used to clone a genuine user’s online identity.
Accessing the personal information of a Facebook user enables fraudsters to take out loans or to make high-value purchases in the user’s name. Data can also be sold on to other fraudsters who can then do the same thing.
A more benign reason might be to buy and sell profiles to increase the number of fans or likes a business, page, or brand can garner. By appearing more popular, this increases attention from genuine internet users and helps brands to increase their revenue.
To avoid falling into the trap of befriending a fake Facebook profile, when you get a friend request you do not recognise, it helps to ensure that you might actually know the person – look for mutual friends or shared interest groups – and if in doubt approach carefully before you accept a friend request. Then, be choosy about what you share online, whether it is about the names of your pets or the place that you live.
If you want to learn more about how to spot a fake profile, why not buy our How to Trace a Fake Facebook Account book?