There are a lot of fake Facebook pages out there. At best, they waste your time and maybe try to sell some ads. At worst, they try to scam money and personal information from you. Here’s how to spot them.
Fake Facebook pages are a big problem. Just this month it turned out that the largest Black Lives Matter Facebook page was actually being run by a white guy in Australia named Ian who buys and sells domain names—and obviously Facebook pages—as a hobby. There are millions more out there doing everything from creating scam competitions to impersonating legitimate media organizations so let’s take a look at some of the ways you can figure out if a page you’re looking at is fake.
Look to See If a Page Is Verified
Facebook pages of public figures, media companies, and brands can get verified, which means Facebook has confirmed that the page is representing who it claims to. Almost every legitimate page takes the time and effort to do it. For example, the real Southwest Airlines Facebook page is verified. You can see that by the blue tick next to the page name.
On the other hand, the fake Southwest pages aren’t verified. They don’t have a blue tick.
Verification isn’t a perfect test, but it’s still a pretty good one. Most major brands and media organizations are verified. The problem is that only big brands and media companies can get verified; smaller brands aren’t eligible. Facebook can also make mistakes if someone submits a request with the right documents (real or fake). They verified How-To Geeek, a trademark infringing knockoff of our site, and we had to file a complaint to get it taken down.
Check the Name Closely
Facebook is pretty quick to whack pages that are violating trademarks. This means that scam Facebook pages need to use a workaround if they want to stay online. This fake Southwest Airlines page is a text book example.
If you look at the name you’ll notice two things:
- It’s spelled “South West” instead of “Southwest.”
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