Twice within the past two weeks, we’ve had users who have found people impersonating them on Facebook by creating fake accounts. This is becoming a big problem, so let’s dive into the different types of fake accounts and discuss how to stop them.
Fake Facebook Accounts
- Child Accounts – Facebook doesn’t allow children under 13 to create Facebook accounts, so many kids create accounts with real information but a fake age. If your child has a Facebook account, make sure you monitor it.
- Anonymous Accounts – Some users want to get their message out, but are concerned about backlash from their work or the government. Many of these users create fake accounts for the purpose of spreading their opinions in an anonymous way.
- Stalkers – On Facebook, it’s possible to block a user so they can’t see the data that you post. Oftentimes, a former spouse or girlfriend/boyfriend will be blocked on Facebook, so they’ll create a new, fake account to “watch” what their spouse/girlfriend/boyfriend is posting.
- “Like” Accounts – These accounts are fake accounts usually created by companies overseas. These companies sell “likes” which can be purchased by other companies. Typically, these accounts do very little posting and lots of “liking.” Facebook is cracking down on these accounts, and your company can be penalized if you use them.
- Spammers – These fake accounts are usually created by companies trying to sell something. Usually, users report the spammers very quickly, so most spam accounts don’t have many “friends” on Facebook. If you get spammed, report it to Facebook.
- Impostors – These are some of the worst types of fake accounts and are usually created to intentionally try to harm the reputation of the original account holder. If you find someone using your name, using your photos, or engaging in any other type of identity theft on Facebook, report it immediately.
If you think you’ve come across one of these fake accounts, you can report them to Facebook using these steps:
- Go to the impostor’s profile
- Click on the cover photo and select “Report”
- Follow the on-screen instructions
In extreme cases, such as you decide to pursue legal action, you can request a timeline and copy of all posted data by the impostor’s account directly from Facebook.