Current category:Tips and Tricks

How do I spot a fake Facebook profile?

There are definately a lot of fake Facebook profiles out there. Numbers released from Facebook themself suggests that 83 million facebook accounts are fake – that’s more than the total number of people living in France and the Netherlands combined! An estimated 5-6% of all Facebook accounts are fake. Fake autogenerated profiles offer the creators of those the possibility of spamming your wall with weird content and also bloat the number of fans for certain pages.

There are some studies of fake Facebook profiles that indicate that fake profiles have a higher average number of friends and most often identify themselves as females.  For identifying whether a specific profile is fake these studies however only offer vague clues.

So how to spot a fake Facebook profile?

Looking at a company Facebook page the other day I noticed an unnatural high number  of fans for that type of company but strangely very low fan activity on the same Facebook page. Very few likes and no comments made it a bit of a strange case. I did find a few Likes though and decided to have a closer look at those profiles. I came up with the following little trick which also will introduce you to a great and not that well-known feature of Google. Here goes:

1. Locate the Profile image of the Facebook profile you want to check. For this little test let’s use the SPAMfighter Aim logo present on the SPAMfighter Facebook page.

SPAMfighter Facebook

2. Right-click on the image and save it somewhere where you easily can find it again! The Windows desktop would be a great place!

3. Now enter Google Image Search. Google Image Search is a great tool where you can search for images based on other images. I would suggest using Google Chrome or Firefox as Browser here. For some reason it does not seem to work for Internet Explorer 9.

4. Drag the recently saved file from your desktop til the search field. It is a little nifty but you will probably work it out!

Google image search

5. Now Google Image Search will check where the image is present on Facebook profiles and a lot of other places on the Internet.

If we for a moment return to my original fake profile my search using the above method actually produced a lot of Facebook profiles having the same profile image. See below. My best guess is that most of those Facebook profiles are fake!

Remember to delete any profile images you download from Facebook by the way. Pretty sure Facebook or Facebook users don’t want their profile images laying around on your computer!

Are anyone stealing your Facebook profile image?

A nice little test would of cource be to test whether any fake Facebook profiles use your profile image? Using the test above it is pretty easy to reveal. So locate your own Facebook page, save the profile image you use and do the Google image search. If you notice your profile image present on other profiles I suggest you report it to Facebook using this link.

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About Kim Falkner

Blogger with a passion for IT-security, online marketing and blogging. Follow me on Google+ (+Kim Falkner) or LinkedIn (Kim Falkner on LinkedIn)
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112 Comments

  1. Andrew Smith says:

    Virginia Urbanksi from Cabin Creek WV is a man posing as female with stolen pics. Be warned for anyone who gets a request. He’s sending viruses also out on Facebook.

  2. content and easy to read thanks

  3. Matt says:

    How can I spot a fake Facebook profile how do I know if there’s pictures on there or real or fake can you help me figure it out if I’m getting scammed

  4. Anita De Abreu says:

    Please notify me in case someone has my fake fb ….

  5. someone is take a video from me and will post it on facebook i don’t want that,but how can i stop that if she post it on family or friends

  6. spiken3333 says:

    Ok now, I’ve got to say something….

    Is all this article going to say is to do a Google image search and that’s it? How feeble. Most articles offer way more tips than this.

    Reading this was a waste of my time because of this. I’ve seen better elsewhere…..

  7. content and easy to read thanks

  8. Noel Fitzpatrick says:

    Hi, I am being spoofed on Facebook (using a profile pic of my kids!)…I reported the profile but FB said the profile was not against their community standards…I cannot just report the content (i.e the profile pic), because there is no Options option on the photo to select?’…and of course I can’t talk to a real human being in Facebook over the phone…Help please

  9. Kenny Campbell says:

    I tried this with my Facebook profile picture and it came back as no other images found and said alcohol as I was holding a beer. The funny thing is that I have 2 Facebook profiles with the same picture. This doesn’t work.

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