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The Definitive List to Reporting Fake Social Media Accounts

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In our influencer-informed culture, everyone wants more followers, friends, or contacts for their social networks.  After all, you may be networking, building a brand, or promoting your business. You might get an unexpected follow or a random friend request which is great for any budding entrepreneur, influencer, or content creator. And yet, these requests can give potential cybercriminals free access to your information.

What do you do about these fake profiles? 

A smart scammer knows what to do once they’re on your friends list. They can get access to your friends, contact list, and even your clients. They can use the information they find to more effectively send you phishing emails, inundate you with spam, or just creepily wait while collecting your information.

Now more than ever fake profiles and accounts are trying to get a peek at the information you might be oversharing on social media. A random friend request or follow seems like part of the goal of building your social media count. It can seem completely reasonable but are these friend requests or followers even from real people? These fake profiles can be dangerous

According to Today, the Internet Crime Complaint Center recorded over 28,000 complaints related to spoofing with losses totaling approximately $216 million. Spoofing is when fake profiles impersonate real businesses, people, and contacts. Given how much of our lives are online, you could get your information stolen, your credentials faked as a duplicate profile, or be targeted for spam or malware. 

To report or not to report?

Reporting fake profiles is part of your social (media) responsibility. It can not only help you but save other not-so-savvy users from scams or cyberattacks. Social media profiles can get targeted because of their large following or their success in business. These profile dupes are run by scammers to steal business from authentic businesses or to steal someone’s following or hard-earned cash.

Reporting may seem cumbersome or annoying but it’s actually quite simple. Those extra few minutes can help save you or someone in your social network from a scam or worse.

How to Report a Fake Profile on Facebook

If you find a fake Facebook profile or page you will want to report it to ensure that they don’t target you or your social media contacts. When reporting a fake profile on Facebook:

  1. Navigate to the profile page. 
  2. Click on the button under the profile photo. 
  3. Select Find Support or Report Profile. From there be sure to follow the instructions for reporting the profile. 

If someone is impersonating you on Facebook you can report the profile by filling out this Facebook form

How to Report a Fake Profile on Twitter 

Impersonation, selling counterfeit goods, and sharing private information violates Twitter’s terms of service. 

  • If someone is impersonating you on Twitter you can file a report using this form
  • If someone is using your copyrighted material like your photos or content you can file a report using this form
  • If someone is using Twitter to impersonate your business you can file a report of selling counterfeit products using this form.  
  • If any of your private information has been posted on Twitter without your consent you can fill out this form
  • If you are being spammed or approached to download malware, you can fill out this form

How to Report a Fake Profile on Instagram

On Instagram, you can find many dupes and impersonation accounts. You may not know because it’s easy enough to build a following on Instagram unless someone brings it to your attention. 

If you need to report a profile impersonating you, you can report it within the app, or by filling out this form. If you don’t have an Instagram account, you can fill out this form. You can use the same forms to report someone impersonating a friend or celebrity, too.

How to Report a Fake Profile on LinkedIn

LinkedIn may seem like a safer space but it is not free from fake profiles. It’s simple enough to post information obtained from resumes or other sources. 

To report a fake profile on LinkedIn from your computer: 

  1. Click the More icon on the member’s profile.
  2. Click Report or block.
  3. In the What do you want to do? pop-up window, select Report content on profile.
  4. In the What content on this profile are you reporting? pop-up window, select Profile information.
  5. In the Why are you reporting the profile information on this profile? pop-up window, select Suspicious or fake.
  6. In the How is this suspicious, spam, or fake? pop-up window, select Fake account.
  7. Click Submit to proceed or Back to review your options.

If you’re using your phone’s browser or the app you can report a fake profile with the following instructions:

  1. Tap the More icon to the right of the profile.
  2. Tap Report.
  3. Select Profile information in the What content on this profile are you reporting? pop-up window.
  4. Select Suspicious or fake from the Why are you reporting the profile? pop-up window
  5. Click Submit to proceed or Back to review your options.

How to Report a Fake Profile on TikTok

TikTok is such a huge app, there’s no protection from potential spoofers, spammers, and content thieves. To report a fake profile on TikTok:

  1. Go to the profile of the account you want to report. 
  2. Tap the Settings icon
  3. Tap “Report” and follow the steps in the app.  

Reporting is how we keep our social networks and communities secure. If you’re cautious or wary of reporting, don’t be. Many people avoid vetting profiles to see if they’re even interacting with a human and that only helps legitimize these fake profiles. By reporting you’re doing your part to protect yourself and others and that’s just a part of solid cybersecurity.

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