- Politics and Social Issues»
How to Bust Fake Accounts in Social Media
Warning to those who own fake accounts
Code Red: I've been a victim of fake accounts!
I felt vulnerable.
I will always be one of you who became victims of such ploy online, espcially in/on social media, like Facebook.
Accepting 'friends' online is just like harvesting ripened rice on a vast field, ignoring the fact that I included the 'weeds' before threshing it to collect and clean my 'harvest' sack by sack.
As a tropical islander, here in the Philippines, the fastest way to connect around the world is through the internet.
I'm a free, caring 'spirit' as my homeland friends will describe about me. I always bare my thoughts on my posts without pretension or hesitations.
I still believe that 'Honesty is (still) the best policy' one could offer if friendship is the ultimate goal online.
Now, as I innocently added groups, pages and individuals from around the world, I never knew that 'fake accounts' added to the bulk of burden that will disturb my peace on the net.
Making friends is an easy way to help combat stress from our jobs, home chores and the like. I never thought that some of those 'friends' have ulterior motives gawking, surfing, stalking me as the purposely chose me to be their victim.
Fake friends stalk me everyday!
Fake Accounts On the Loose
Since 2009, when I've been involved in this writing community, HubPages, posting hubs/articles actively, I've been approached by many 'fake friends' asking help to cash out money from fictitious 'dead relatives' or anonymous 'heirs' of certain 'monarchy' or 'kingdoms' I never heard about.
At first, they will pose as your new friends. I will add them because they have my mutual friends. That's my barometer of honesty online. Thanks to Facebook app of Mr. Mark Zuckerberg. The 'add' department will notice that I am adding 'new friends' so fast because I trust the gauging standard in terms of 'mutual' aspects.
Bottomline, I will end up being victimized by these bunch of unscrupulous people who only want to pester me and waste my time because they've already captured my trust upon them.
But to no avail, I will end up with regrets as I blamed myself for being too trusting. Too honest in believing that all people in the world still believe in good virtues.
I always sink on the loose end when I extend my trust wholeheartedly.
Due to my busy tasks online (hubbing, blogging, video blogging, organizing groups , pages and lots of advocacies), and at the same time extending help during meet ups, my mind always focused on the goodness of online friendship, not knowing that there are lots of shady people existing inside the web victimizing others who will fall on their traps of flashy profiles, copying other people achievements and portfolio.
Real vs Fake: The Likes of Me and You are Outnumbered!
Getting even with those 'fake friends'
Just recently, I underwent a harrowing experience trying to help a shady 'bank executive' from the Middle East not knowing that his reputation was used by a 'faker' or maybe a hacker trying to siphon a so-called personal account with the help of an equally shady barrister.
My gmail address has been compromised without my knowing until the so-called barrister asked for a service fee amounting to thousand of dollars. What the heck! I was tongue-tied and dumbfounded.
I paused for a second and memories of such scenario came rushing in from my mind. I was again a victim of fake friends using a bogus, fictitious or hacked account from Facebook!
Well, I wasn't new to such ploy, so, I have to get even with this shady friend. And this is my tirade:
"Is this really you?"
"Why hire me when you have a competent staff to do your 'dirty work'?"
Then, the account was suddenly logged out. The green button went blank.
The experience was overwhelming. They've been halfway with their ploy but they're not aware that I can also be as vicious as they want me to be.
With all the ordeal I've went through, a mix of failure, regret and triumph smeared my day, as I finish my day job on the radio.
Really, browsing online, specially social media while doing my five-to-seven work is always a violation in the Code of Work Ethics.
Make your social media accounts safer by ESET
Reporting and Deleting Fake Accounts
Locating the Perpetrators
I tried locating the exact location.
And there it is!
It always went to Ghana! Or it can be any country where the 'fake users' are located!
I'm not stereotyping but the true location will always flash on the computer screen with the name of that country.
I don't know but I'm sure those posers, fakers, bogus people online use fake IP address and will always use the name of that poor country.
With the help of my techie friends, they advised me to remember the following:
- Fake accounts/friends are those who usually hide their true faces by using inanimate objects. These accounts are bogus that may have other real accounts and are always used for online transactions, scammers, enemies and hackers.
- When all of a sudden, you become a friend of a well-known dignitary, like US President Donald Trump, the Dalai Lama and the like.
- Fake accounts/friends always ask monetary compensation. They always think they can siphon money from me. No way. I'm earning online but I will not succumb to/with their ploy.
- Fake accounts/friends usually send you long letters, containing sob stories and a bait of huge sum of money! I was almost blinded by it.
- Fake accounts/friends will entice you to chat with them and ask for money. They'll ask for your credit card and lo! A link on the sex site will be pasted on your Messenger!
- Fake accounts/friends use stock photos of well-known personalities that can lure new friends to obey their requests.
Punishments to all who got caught with Fake Accounts
As written by David Barett of The Telegraph UK:
Offenders who set up fake online accounts to take revenge on other people are to face tougher action under new measures set out by prosecutors.
Mr. Barrett interviewed Alison Saunders, Director of Public Prosecution, and she explained:
“Online communication is developing at such a fast pace, new ways of targeting and abusing individuals online are constantly emerging.
“We are seeing more and more cases where social media is being used as a method to facilitate both existing and new offences.
“Offenders can mistakenly think that by using false online profiles and creating websites under a false name their offences are untraceable.
“Thankfully this is not the case and an online footprint will be left by the offender.”
Meanwhile, Timothy Bertrand, writer and journalist living in the Houston, Texas revealed "The 15 Most Ridiculous Hoaxes Spread Through Social Media". This article revealed nefarious pranksters—perpetrators who are spreading internet hoaxes, wherein victims included Queen Elizabeth and FB mogul Mark Zuckerberg.
With the advent of 'fake news', fake accounts will continue thriving online and will destroy millions of human lives, if not physically but emotionally.
Advocacy against Fake Accounts on Social Media- Let's Fight!!!
Please help me eradicate Fake Accounts!
I still believe there are billions of goodhearted people around the world who use social media everyday. It become part of our daily existence, social media, that is, like Facebook and Twitter.
Whatever advances in technology that will dawn at our doorsteps, let us be one of "Doubting Thomases" . We have to make sure what we're doing online.
There are many protective apps that will keep us safe for awhile.
Aside from the viruses that will attack our accounts, at least, we can shield ourselves from the fakers that are waiting to trap us in times of our vulnerabilities.
Additional information that might be of help
- Information Media In The Era Of Web Data Glut: Mass Society Being Overrun by Technology,Technique &a
Contemporary society is being overrun by technology and technique; Desktop; Laptops; Social Networking; E-Mail; IM; Weblogs;s; Podcasts; E-books; Mobile Devices; Downloading; YouTube; Twitter; Adds..
- T.I. -CEO Facebook Page Is A Fake!!!!!!
T.I. is being very generous with his cash/house giveaways on Facebook, to lucky random fans that simply 'like' his post. Does anyone smell a serious 'Hustle'?????
- Understanding Facebook Addiction/Censorship On the Social Media: Murmurs from the Facebook Environm
Facebook, according to this Hub, has 500 million active users, who have an average of 130 Friends of which about 700 billion minutes are spent per month with daily usage. Facebookers become addicted