As the saying goes “On the internet, nobody knows you’re a dog…“. It’s far too easy for people to pretend they are someone or something they are not. Sometimes, that’s a good thing, but more often than not, it’s bad. Anyone can create fake profiles on social media and use them to fool people into parting with their money.
This is why social media sites like Facebook and Twitter created ‘verified’ profiles. You can be sure if someone has a blue tick beside their name, they are who they say they are. This is very important if you’re going to share a post, provide personal details or enter into a financial transaction.
These fake sites will often use a legitimate business name to fool people. Let’s use Disney as an example. Everyone knows the name, Disney. It’s a worldwide brand with a certain degree of trust associated with it. This is how fraudsters take advantage of people. They create a fake page and get you to share its post or provide your personal details. Then you wonder why you’ve never one a holiday or a cruise or free tickets. Disney isn’t the only victim, there are well-known pages claiming to give away RVs or cars, all using the same tactics.
In almost all cases, these big companies will never ask you to share a post to win something. If they do, be sure the page is the real one. Look for the blue tick beside their name. Please note, the tick mark should NOT appear as part of their profile image. Anyone can put a tick in an image using simple graphics software. The tick will be beside their name only.
In the image below, you can see a common trick fraudulent pages use – a full stop (or period) after their name. Both fake Disney pages on the left have one, and in addition, the bottom one shows irrelevant category. These are common tricks used to fool people.
Both Facebook and Twitter have a process that allows you to request verification. This isn’t available for every page but is very useful for big brands, business and celebrities.
If you see your friends sharing these sorts of fake pages, let them know they are scams and likely to compromise their personal information. And of course, tell them about this blog, and Phil The Geek on Facebook!