I recently wrote an article about using Google to aid you in locating someone on Facebook. While I was writing that article, and doing research on the subject, I ran across some interesting information concerning fake Facebook accounts. Sometimes Private Investigators use this tactic to lure a target into “friending” them so they may gain access to their private information. I often suggest to steer clear of this, especially if you are trying to gather any kind of evidence as this method can be construed as deceit and in most states, if not all, it is against the law to acquire evidence through coercion or deceit.
In my research I discovered that recently Facebook was getting ready to sell company stock for the first time. In doing this they were required to make many legal disclosures as they filed their SEC filings. Located inside these filings was a HUGE finding concerning their total users. It seems the social network has somewhere in the range of 83 million FAKE user profiles. This is a whopping 9% of their total estimated 955 million users.
Facebook estimated that nearly 50% of those fake accounts are duplicate accounts. That is people who have one or more Facebook accounts. The remainder, according to Facebook, are believed to be what Facebook calls “Like” frauds and companies that create profiles of people.
So how would one identify a fake Facebook user? A popular antivirus company, Barracuda, recently performed a study analyzing over 2,500 fake Facebook accounts and identified these red flag scenarios:
97% of fake users claim to be female while 40% of real users are female
Nearly 60% of fake users state their gender orientation as both men and women while just 6% of real users do
The average fake user has 726 friends while the average real user has only 130
In short, if a Facebook profile is a woman who is looking for relationships with women or men and has a lot of friends, it is probably a Fake Facebook account and caution should be exerted when dealing with them.
More details on the Barracuda study can be found here
~ John L. Morris
A Northern Colorado, licensed and insured, Greeley Private Investigator
Call today for your 100% FREE Private Investigator Consultation (970) 673-5719
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