Please sign in to post.

Are you getting friend requests from fake Facebook accounts?

I'm noticing that some recent friend requests in Facebook that are obviously from fake accounts (recently joined, generic photos, 'about' geographically and ethnically incoherent or implausible) have 'likes' or 'groups' that include the Rick Steves pages among their likes/memberships, along with the usual high-click but coincidentally beginning with the same letter of the alphabet, etc.

I'm imagining that someone or some 'bot is now going through the list of people who have 'liked' RS posts and is trying to get them to be friends. I think they do this not for simple marketing purposes but as advance prep for some upcoming campaign, because having real friends makes a fake account harder to spot.

Posted by
20597 posts

Nope, not to the best of my knowledge.

Posted by
922 posts

I've gotten those requests for a couple of years now. Not sure if it is scammers but I delete all of those friend requests. I don't think it has anything to do with the RS site but fb itself.

Posted by
1352 posts

Yes - I periodically get new friend requests from people I have no idea who they are. I hadn't checked to see if they also follow the RS page. That's a thought. I've had 2 of these just since the new year.

Posted by
7628 posts

I haven't gotten any FB requests I thought were associated with the RS site but at least weekly I get requests from military guys...usually they are Generals, lol. I am sure there are Generals all over who are looking for random new friends on FB. Delete, mark as spam, next!

Posted by
2019 posts

Let me "semi-hijack" this since we are on the topic of bogus FaceBook friend requests. I get the occasional one, but I have liked barely anything, so I don't associate to the Rick page. It just seems to be people trolling to add friends, like it's a competition. And occasionally from women who may be looking to hit males. But my real reason for my post:

A more pervasive problem I have seen over the years (I manage my high-school class network, and am on Facebook primarily as a back-up communication device with a couple hundred 64 year old men who are not careful enough with their computers) is someone with a weak password has their Facebook account hacked and a new account set up using their name and personal info, while at the same time sending "Friend" requests to the victims entire Friends list which they have managed to get. And when they then can get the connection they are hoping that your profile will give them information to access you and your email account, and so on. If you ever see a Friend request from someone you are already Friends with,. let them know immediately, via a message to their original account, or better yet through their email if you have it., they can contact Facebook to have the fraud account terminated. I can't begin to tell you the number of my classmates whose email or Facebook has been hacked online due to their carelessness.

Posted by
628 posts

You may have your current settings for Public - so anyone can "friend" you. You can change your settings so only people that are friends of your friends can "friend" you.

Posted by
3131 posts

You may have your current settings for Public - so anyone can "friend"
you. You can change your settings so only people that are friends of
your friends can "friend" you.

An extra warning on this. I've had "friend" requests from those I thought I was already linked. In every case, that person's account was hacked. So if you see a friend request from someone you know you're already linked on FB, do NOT accept it. Instead, alert your friend via email. text, phone, carrier pigeon that you suspect her or his account has been hacked and recommend that person change her or his password ASAP.

Posted by
440 posts

Not so much FB because I am private but on Instagram constantly getting request from bot accounts an absolute annoyance.

Posted by
3315 posts

I have nothing against those who use Facebook, Instagram, etc. To each his own. I just totally avoid the problem by not using them. Call me a "Ludite" if you want (I've been call a lot worse) but I just don't see the need for it. My actual friends know my email address, and all my phone numbers. Don't know why anyone would want to know what I had for lunch or that my pet pooped on the new rug. But to each his own.

Posted by
12086 posts

No, since I don't have Facebook anyway, none of those accounts.

Posted by
4498 posts

TC and Fred, how can you sleep at night knowing all the cat videos you are missing?

Posted by
6027 posts

I'm curious as to why, if you don't even have fb, you would bother to post on this thread?

Posted by
3315 posts

Douglas, I sleep quite well actually.

Nancy, I posted simply to try to illustrate that life can (and does) exist without Facebook. Nothing against those who use it, and sorry if it offended. To each his own.

Posted by
19 posts

A person's facebook account does not have to be hacked in order to have an imposter make a fake account and then send friend requests to people the real person is already friends with. It happens on a regular basis to any number of the people I am friends with on FB. I report the fakes to FB and warn the real friend. The key is to make your friends list visible to "only me." Your mutual friends can still see the ones they are friends with. A stranger cannot see your friend list at all (disclaimer: strangers may be able to see people who comment on/like your profile or cover photo, or if your posts are set to public.) If your friends list is set to "public" anyone can save your profile photo and create a new account, then send out friend requests to your existing friends. I am only friends with people I know in real life, and I warn them that they should set their friend lists to private/only me, but most of them still don't change it. I follow several different scam warning/security type pages on FB and they always recommend making your friend list private.

Replying to the OP, I get friend requests every so often from people I don't know, which may be fake or not. I just delete/block. I have liked a lot of different pages on a variety of subjects on facebook, so I don't think scammers are getting my name from the RS page, specifically.

Posted by
13927 posts

Douglas - trust me, you can see lots of really cute cat videos w/o FB. I should know. YouTube can be addictive too :-)

Posted by
1134 posts

Part of what was on my mind when I decided to post this topic was probably all the late revelations about interference in our public political discourse, and my noticing that it seems like some fake accounts put in the extra work of acquiring real friends and real group memberships before they start parroting some line of propaganda, such that it makes it harder for the automatic oversight mechanisms at Facebook to identify and remove them in a timely manner. --

When I flag suspicious accounts that are sending me friend requests, the FB review often results in a message saying that the account isn't 'violating any of our community guidelines' so we're not going to do anything other than suggest you individually block the offender -- my hope is that their review system will continue to improve so that we can nip the cheaters in the bud.

Posted by
19 posts

That may be so, avirosemail. It's definitely disturbing that people are being manipulated by Russians/foreigners pretending to be Americans. The rabble-rousers I usually see commenting on public political posts sometimes show no friends on their profiles whenever I check (which isn't that often). They are immediately accused of being bots by other commenters because they think the agitators have no friends. I consider the fact that they could be real people who just have their friend list set to private like I do.

My FB friends who have fallen for the friend requests from imposter accounts have reported being solicited for money which tends to tip them off that the account is fake.

Yes, I've reported some profiles that send me friend requests, usually when it's obviously fake (military generals, duplicate friends, etc.) or some that appeared to be prostitutes. It's frustrating when Facebook replies with the "not violating community guidelines" answer, when it seems like a no-brainer that it's fake or soliciting.

Posted by
1 posts

I have noticed several of times about request of Facebook fake ID's. Basically, the purpose of fake ID's holders is to increasing like of their Pages.

Posted by
138 posts

I never accept a friend request from someone I don't know face-to-face. But the travel/RS link might have made me temporarily stupid. Thanks for the "heads up"!

Posted by
440 posts

Not Facebook, but a load on Instagram. I do believe that these are being cleared out.