New Facebook Friend Request?

When you get a Facebook friend request, it can be exciting, or at the least– interesting!  For most of us, we’ve been on Facebook for quite a while, so seeing new connections doesn’t happen all the time.  Maybe you started a new job, new group or church, or met someone through a mutual friend and have some new requests.

For some, it seems we go through periods of time where we get quite a few new requests– and some (or most) of those can be people you really don’t know.

According to BestLife, there are some recommendations on what you should check on before accepting those requests! Even if it seems to be someone you know.

You should:

  • Investigate the new friend request (or direct message) before engaging.
  • Do you have mutual friends?
  • Is this a duplicate account?  We’ve all potentially received friend requests from someone we already were connected with– this could be a new account because their previous one got hacked, or this could be a fake profile set up.
  • Also, look to see if they have recent posts?  Are they active? If the account doesn’t have much activity or interaction with others, you should definitely be a little more hesitant to accept that request!
  • Check their profile picture and their “About” section.  If there’s only one picture, or none at all, this could be a red flag as well. Do they appear to be a “real” person? Do you actually know them?

The head of public affairs at Facebook, Robert Traynham, told Today that in 2021 so far, close to 1.3 billion fake accounts have been removed by Facebook.  And though the company does work to protect its users from scammers, nothing is foolproof.  They recommend you be aware of these potential issues and take precaution any time you make new connections on social media.

We live in a time where it’s easier and easier for scammers to get your personal information, and unfortunately many use tactics like posing as someone you know to gain more access to you to get personal information.  These fake accounts can offer discounts or giveaways.  While they may seem to come from a brand, it could also be a trick to get more information from you.

The chief of the FBI Cyber Division Unit says over 28,000 complaints came through last year in regards to fake accounts and resulted in a total loss of around $216 million.

Report Suspicious Activity

Anytime you come across a page that you believe to be fake or an imposter, Facebook does encourage you to report the account.

Go to the profile page, click the 3 dots under the cover photo (next to the Message button). If it’s a page disguising itself as another person, you’ll click “Find Support or Report Profile”.  If it’s a page, you’ll click “Find Support or Report Page.”

You can also file a complaint with the FBI’s Internet Crime Complaint Center – IC3.

Next time you get a Facebook friend request, just take a few moments to do a little investigation to make sure you’re not setting yourself up for any issues!

 

We know the internet can be a dangerous place.  Using precaution can save you a lot of trouble in the long run.  It’s also important to watch our kids and warn them of the dangers.  Earlier this year there were talks of Instagram for Children, but Facebook was urged not to pursue it.  In recent news, Facebook is pausing this plan.