On the internet, you could be anyone who you want to be. In simpler terms, you don’t need an Identification card (I.D.) if you’re joining social networking websites. Although security checks are still rampant, you could be anyone online. Here in the Philippines, thousands of Facebook pages and profiles are created everyday. The sad part is that most of those profiles are fake. They try to get into people’s messages, they post and sell ads, and they try to scam your money and personal information.
In a previous article we discussed about identifying and reporting fake Facebook profiles. In this article, however, we will be discussing how you can recognize a fake Facebook page.
Wait, why do we need to spot a fake Facebook page in the first place?
Seeing and knowing if a Facebook page is legit is as important as recognizing a fake Facebook profile. Facebook pages are usually companies, businesses, discussion groups, trade channels – they can be anything. The more people in a page, the better. Recognizing a fake Facebook page secures yourself from scammers, spammers, even cyber criminals and hackers. In addition to that, you can save yourself hassle in controlling what you see whenever you’re in your Facebook News Feed.
Fake Facebook pages are the worst. They will try to sell you some ads and clicks, they will try to get personal information from you and use that to their advantage. This is why we all need to be careful when we’re dealing with something we cannot physically see.
So how do you spot a fake Facebook page?
Facebook pages of media companies, known people, public figures, and brands can get verified. What does being verified mean? Well, this means that Facebook itself made the confirmation that the page is truly representing the name it bears. A Facebook profile can also be verified under the same process. Almost every legitimate page takes the time and effort to do it; the reason for that of course is for them to attract more people and for the people to know that they’re legitimate.
For example, Trivago, the well-known travel agency has a Facebook page. If you click on the page, you will see that beside the page name, there is a blue tick or check mark. This is the indication that a certain profile or page is verified.
Alternatively, if you see that the page you’re viewing does not have a tick box, means it hasn’t been verified. Although it does not necessarily mean it’s fake, it’s just that it has less credibility since Facebook itself did not approve it.
Read: Things You Should Never Share Or Post On Facebook for Safety Reasons
Another is through the page reviews
Before buying something, you would first know what it contains, right? Furthermore, you would be interested in learning what other people thought about the product. Same goes with a Facebook page. Fortunately, Facebook allows reviews of pages so people interested in getting services from the page would know what type of service the page has.
Checking the reviews thoroughly would not only allow you to see if something is real or fake; reviews also allow you to have different options if you think the services a certain brand/company is offering is not for you.
Look closely at the name
One thing Facebook did well was by implementing strict rules in terms of duplication and trademark violations. If a certain trademark is already being used, fake Facebook page owners need a workaround to get their page up and running.
In this example, it is obvious that this is not the Trivago that we know. Why? Try googling “Trivago Hotels,” and look what you’ll find. Usually, legitimate brand names come up at the top part of Google Search.
There are some fake pages that add different characters like periods (.) at the end of a certain word; they add or remove a few words if the Facebook page name is modifiable, and so on. They make these efforts so they can pass Facebook’s filters and be safe with their scheme. They find it easy to manipulate people because careless people and those not keen on detail would easily be fooled.
Check the category listings of the Facebook page
In the image, you will see that the legit Trivago has its category under “Hotel.” The one which isn’t so real has it as a “Travel Agent” and the name is Trivago Hotels. Smell something fishy? I know. Another tip is to quickly look at it because most scams and fake Facebook pages will have their listings as “Community.” Do you really think that a brand would categorize their business like that? I think not…
What things do they post?
Now this tip might be a little difficult to notice for some. There are scams that have perfected their art and what they share or post are truly brainwashing. They will ask you to click something or to sign up for something and it will, eventually tell you to log-in using your Facebook credentials; asking you to accept that they’ll be using your information.
Another thing to take note of is that most fake Facebook pages offer a lot of discounts that are hard-to-believe. Would you believe a consistent posting of deals and prices that would be astounding especially for the naive?
Read: 5 Ways to Avoid Investment Scams
How can you help other people avoid these scams?
Honestly speaking, there are a lot of people still fooled by these scams. One thing is that they’re unaware that they exist, another is because they’re not just too careful with what they see and look at online. You can start making them aware by actually sharing this article to them. Another thing is by giving a review of the page you think and know is fake and that might steal information from other people.
Right now, there are hundreds, if not thousands of fake Facebook pages. We don’t know their main reason of doing that but for sure, they’re in to scam people, make money out of them – or worse, squeeze personal information from thousands of different people and use it to their advantage. Whatever the case is, it won’t hurt if you just try to keep safe. I’m not talking about Facebook alone; all social media platforms have fakes. Facebook is just the main platform for Fakes because hell more than a billion people use it.
So be careful and be keen to detail. As much as possible, try staying away from having interactions with the page to avoid being scammed. Facebook has this big problem of eliminating these. However, since there have been countless incidents of scams all over the platform, they’re for sure addressing this and they’re doing what they can to remove it completely.