Commenting on our story about two different fake Facebook accounts sending me a friend request on the same day using the same profile picture (click here to read that tip), a reader said:
“No question, just a funny. This one faker has used same picture, different names about twice a month. I report him all the time. You would think he would leave me be.”
I know you didn’t really have a question. But, I wanted to comment on this. Truth be told, most of these fakers aren’t targeting you personally. Many of these operations are large-scale businesses with hundreds of employees. They target everyone, just like those scammy robocalls that just won’t stop coming.
In fact, it’s probably not a person at all sending out the friend request, but what’s called a bot. That’s an automated program that just looks for targets and chooses which type of profile to use for the fake friend request, based on what it can find out about you by your public information or your pics. A young man, a middle-aged woman, or a senior citizen will get a pic and name combo the scammers feel will appeal to them. You’ll see they’ll often do randomized name combos like David William, William David, John David, John William, Willian David John etc… That’s just the program shuffling the names up a bit.
Once someone bites on the friend request, then a scammer gets involved personally to begin communicating with the target. Depending on how sophisticated the scammers are, some of the communications may be ridiculously inept and obviously fake, but some of the better fakers can be quite convincing.
The reason that the fake requests keep on coming even when you report them, is that if it’s a large scale operation, they expect this and they just keep churning out new profiles and friend requests because it’s literally their job.
Stopping these crooks can be difficult. Most of them aren’t in the U.S. and many of them are set up in places where scamming is such a big part of the local economy that the authorities don’t bother to get involved.