The rise of the club-promo catfish, how fake profiles are targeting you

They’re adding you on Facebook


At the heart of University society is our social media. Sports team pages, big night events, groupchats- its hard to imagine where we’d be without it really.

As such a massive platform for university social networking, it was only a matter of time before people started taking advantage of Facebook to target us. Now, we have an epidemic on our hands of fake, Facebook profiles; of club-promoting catfish.

The ingenuity of these accounts comes in their method of gaining friends. Take ‘Harry Carruthers’, for example, I have 19 mutual friends, all from Cavendish hall. I must know him from somewhere then?

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Nope. A quick scroll down reveals that this dastardly deceiver is a front for SoulJam.

Harry Carruthers

These accounts are targeting halls of residence in order to create a more convincing, false persona. They’ll add you and systematically invite you to events that you probably don’t want to go to.

Strong education, Harry

Strong education, Harry

In the midst of all this online hoodwinking, here are a few things to look out for when identifying a fake account:

Only one profile picture/cover picture

The fake accounts tend to have one profile picture, one cover picture and nothing more. The lack of profile pictures is a pretty clear indication that the account is a fake one and that it has been made pretty recently. In addition, the profile pictures are unlikely to have any likes. It makes you think, who are the people in the photos? Do they know their pictures are being used?

not a single like

not a single like

Their timeline is as empty as Antics on a Monday night

If you want to see if an account is fake, simply scroll down their timeline. The only things that will feature on there is them updating their profile and cover picture, and them being born.

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You’re boring mate

 

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Another one

This makes it pretty obvious that the account is fake, unless you want to believe that these people have been living under a rock for the past seven years and have only just discovered the merits of Facebook.

They’re usually quite attractive

Fair enough, this is quite a clever strategy. You get a friend request from some girl you have never heard of, you have a few mutuals so you decide to have a look at her profile to see if you know her. You see ‘Studies at The University of Nottingham’, and you’ll assume she’s either on your course and in your halls.

You click on her profile picture to see if you recognise her and low and behold she is a worldie. You feel slightly gassed, as if this girl has spotted you from across campus, tracked you down and added you – unfortunately, the harsh reality is that you’ve been tricked into accepting a request from a fake account.

Exhibit A...

It’s a trap!

So be wary next time you receive a friend request on Facebook. Sure, you could tell yourself that a solid 9 has just added you on Facebook in an attempt to slide into your DMs – however the more likely, and depressing truth, is that you’ve fallen victim to a click-bait promoter. In the wise words of DJ Khaled: congratulations, you played yourself.

We tried to speak to all the profiles included and to SoulJam, but no one responded to our repeated messages.