Tips & Tricks for Spotting Fake Social Network Profiles

Tips & Tricks for Spotting Fake Social Network Profiles

Active on social media? ‘Liking’ and commenting on posts from different accounts?

How can you tell if the profiles you follow or your Facebook “friends” are real or fake ?

In 2019, Facebook estimated ~5% of all accounts were fake, and removed 5.4 billion verified fake accounts. While some accounts offer legitimate means of gaining anonymity, most accounts are probably generated with criminal intent, by way of bots.

Such accounts are commonly used by terrorists, special interest groups, and even countries to disseminate hate, fake news, disinformation or propaganda. Others may be controlled by hackers aiming to collect personal information and gain access to funds or spread criminal content.

Drawing on extensive experience and know-how, Verint’s web intelligence researchers have compiled a guidebook for open source analysts, listing the main indicators that can expose the account as fake. The report examines timestamps, activity inconsistencies, geolocation data, contacts and content, and provides methods and tools for investigating whether an account is real or not.

For the full report on fake account indicators, steps for verifying an account’s posts, and recommended tools for OSINT investigations, read the Verint Web Intelligence report ‘Tips and Tricks for Discovering Fake Social Network Profiles’.


Author: Verint Research Lab