Many of us have received friend requests from Facebook user whom we have never met or ever heard of. Requests bombard from users whom we don’t share mutual friends with or those that have so many mutual friends who are not like minded. Chances are this person doesn’t exist and you’re looking at a fake Facebook profile.

Some of those people do not have the best interests in mind, they are cunning and deceiving. They may seek you out to get information, to steal your identity, or even to destroy your reputation. The headlines of social media related blackmailing are just yesterday’s news.

Earlier this year Facebook estimated that between 5 and 6 percent of all accounts are bogus, that is an estimate of Facebook fakes between 40 and 50 million.

According to most recent estimates from Facebook, there are around 83 Million fake accounts. After much research and pattern analysis, Barracuda Networks releases a study that helps identify fake Facebook accounts.



Click to View the Full infographic from BarracudaLabs.

Some of the Key Statistics

  1. As of August 2012 8.7% of all Facebook profiles are Fake that is approximately 83 million false accounts
  2. Around 60% of fake accounts say they are bisexual/Gay, which is more than 10 times the amount of real Facebook accounts that list that information.
  3. They have 6 times the average number of friends (726 versus 130)
  4. 43% of fake profiles have never updated their status, compared with 15% of real people.
  5. Almost all fake accounts (97%) claim to be female, as opposed to 40 percent of real accounts.
  6. Fake accounts will often tag photos far more often than real accounts, with an average of 136 tags per four photos on fake accounts compared to one tag per four photos for real Facebook users.

How do you spot a fake Facebook user? People have many strategies, including looking at the content on their Wall, checking their mutual friends, and/or just scanning for anything out of the ordinary. Here are some of the key warning signs that the person who just sent you a friend request is not what he or she claims to be. If an account displays three or more of these Fake Factors, you can bank that it’s bogus.


  1. Photos: Many of the fake profile have only a single or no photo of the “Claimed” person. All other images are of Celebrities and useless junk that others have tagged the account with.
  2. Friends list: The user has a fairly high number of friends and most of them are of the opposite gender and many times many of the other friends seem to be fake profiles.
  3. Mutual Friends : have no mutual friends or have so many mutual friends who are not like minded
  4. Status updates, wall posts and comments: The user has not updated the status for quite a long time. Or engaged in a real discussion or conversation with anyone else
  5. About / Info: There are no links established with genuine schools or education institutions or workplace. Mostly the user’s relationship status is single and looking for dating either interested to same gender or both genders.
  6. Recent Activities: The users recent activities are all filled up with new friends. The user does not like any meaningful pages or groups.
  7. Contact Details: Most of the fake accounts created are of girls. But in reality many girls do not disclose such contact details while almost all fake accounts have some contact details publicly visible.
  8. Birthdays: birthdays like 1st day of the month or the last day of the month are very common amongst fake accounts as it is easier to type in. Their birth year also does not match their actual age / photograph at most times.
  9. Recent Wall post: Many wall posts looks like “Thanks for adding me, Do I know you” and the user does not comment back to such wall posts.
  10. Common behaviors: like use of applications, likes and sharing of interesting posts by others, and adding siblings and other relationships are not common on fake profiles.
  11. Many other factors are there that can alert the user’s behavior to be false, malicious.

So, if you get a friend request from a hot, bi girl with tones of friends, no status updates and lots of tagged photos, u should consider the possibility that it’s a fake account.

Next time you get a friend request, ask yourself: “Do I really know this person?



With over 10 years of experience in the field of ICT, Rhipha is a Sysadmin, a Project Manager and Technology writer.

More Posts

Follow Me: