How to Identify a Fake Friend Request on Facebook

With an increase in the usage of social networking websites like Facebook, there also has been an increasing trend in stalkers and random people sending you friend requests. Often, the friend requests sent by many are not even in their real names, which makes accepting their friend request even more dangerous. So to be sure of whether the person who just added you is actually the person as they show through their profile picture or are they just pretending to be someone else?

While there might not be a direct method of finding whether the account who just sent you a friend request is genuine or not, however, there are a few tips or signs which can be highlighted to identify such fake requests to avoid any sort of damage.

Why Would Anyone Send You a Fake Request on Facebook

There are all sorts of people in the world and that is why some fake friend requests might be harmless, where people just want to be your friend without any more reasons. While on the other hand, some might have an agenda behind their fake friend request, which can be harmful to you or anyone around you. The following is a list of reasons why anyone might send you a fake request.

  1. The only reason for a stalker to add you as a friend is to get their hand on the information that you have hidden from your Facebook profile and which can only be accessed if they are added to your friend’s list. These stalkers might be harmful to you and might use your personal data to blackmail you or make you do things under pressure.
  2. Hackers: Hackers just want to hack. The only reason for them to add you as a friend is to make you click on malicious links which would appear on your newsfeed, which will be clicked by more people by mistake and the hackers generally would achieve their goal of spreading malware on the internet.
  3. Catfishers: The only aim for such people is make innocent people looking for love to become their easy victims through the beautiful profile pictures that they put as bait for you. Such people could be dangerous as they might involve you in harmful activities.
  4. All the Ex’s of your life: There is a very high chance of an Ex sending you a fake friend request just to check if you accept requests from strangers and whether you have been ignoring their original friend request. They might make a fake account to keep a closer check on you through their fake profile.
  5. Current partners: This is like a way of spying on a partner. Partners make fake accounts and test your loyalty to them by sending you a fake friend request. You might be lucky if you haven’t accepted the friend request from this fake account. It is almost like an undercover task for catching you do something offensively.
  6. Investigators: Sometimes the fake profiles are actually investigators fetching for information on you which could only be accessed if they are your friend or so. And since they cannot come out as themselves, they often have to use fake profiles to crawl into your Facebook and get all the information that they need for their investigation.

What are the Signs to Know it is a Fake Friend Request?

The following signs and clues for guessing whether the friend request that you just received is a fake or a real one could be very helpful for you.

  • Look for Common Friends. The biggest and the most important sign of a fake request would be NO common friends. While there might be possibilities that you have met the person face to face but cannot recall their appearance through the display picture. But, higher chances of the request being fake because why would anyone even add you if they don’t have a common friend or haven’t met you before?
  • Minimum to no Facebook History or information. People who use fake profiles to send fake requests often keep their Facebook profiles very limited with very few pictures of them. The information that they share on their profile is also not enough for the other person, which again is an important sign of this being a fake friend request. Be careful if you get a friend request from such a profile.
  • Analyze the Friends of this profile. If the list of friends for this person has more of the same gender in their profile, then chances are that it is a fake profile, where the person is only adding more of the same gender for whatever harmful reasons they have in mind. Another thing that you can examine for this purpose is whether they have few or more friends. Fake profile holders often keep their profile undercover, and therefore often have very few friends, or are focusing on the gender same as yours.

Be very careful the next time you receive a friend request and make sure you thoroughly examine the profile of the sender before accepting their friend request.


Habiba Rehman

Major love for reading, but writing is what keeps me going. Dream to publish my own novels someday.