What to do when you get a fake friend request on Facebook

Photo by Luca Sammarco on Pexels.com

I often get a friend request on Facebook and scratch my head, thinking, “I thought I was already his friend.” What’s going on? What should I do?

I go to the search button on Facebook, and I do a quick search for the name of my friend. Often, a different acccount by the same name shows as already my friend. Aha! This tells me that the new request is fake. The one that is already my friend is the real account.

I usually take a look at the timeline of the person who is already my friend. Often they have already posted a warning saying, “Don’t accept a friend request from me! I’ve been hacked!” Technically, my friend has not been hacked; that is, nobody has gotten access to my friend’s password. Instead, somebody has taken his or her photos and created a new Facebook page by the same name, using the same pictures, and sent out friend requests to people already that person’s friend. They usually do this to send private messages under the pretend name and sell something or get money some way or another. But I digress…

So once I realize that this new friend request is coming from a fake account, what do I do? Facebook actually makes this easy. Here’s what you can do:

  1. Return to the friend request that you got from the fake account. Read this carefully: do not accept it, and do not delete the request, either. Instead, select the button to the right of the “accept” and “delete” buttons (usually it has some dots, but you can click on it), and select the third option, a menu of drop-down options that includes a link to Find support or report the profile. Click on that link, to report the profile.
  2. Next, select the option that says this person is pretending to be someone else. Notice that not only is there an option to report that they are pretending to be your friend, but there is also an option to report that they are pretending to be you. If you are the person being impersonated, you can use this option yourself to defend your account.
  3. Next, it will ask you to put in the name of the friend that the fake account is pretending to be. Put in the name of your real friend, and the real friend’s account should come up. Don’t worry about this being the fake account; you have not accepted the friend request from the fake account, so the only person who can come up as your friend who is being impersonated is the name of the real friend’s account. Click on the name of your real friend. This will allow you to submit the report to Facebook, letting Facebook know the name of the real account being impersonated.
  4. Facebook will then ask you if you want to do anything else, such as block the fake account. I usually go ahead and block the fake account, but if you prefer, you can simply delete the friend request from the fake account. Then I click that I’m done. That’s it!

As you can see, it’s a fairly easy process to report a fake account, and it is the best way for you to help your real friend. After all, isn’t that what friends are for?

About Bob Rogers

Hospital chaplain in Mississippi. Adjunct history professor (online). Formerly a pastor for 33 years in Mississippi and Georgia. Avid cyclist.

Posted on January 20, 2022, in social media and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 3 Comments.

  1. So many fake accounts from China are targeting Taiwanese for political reason either disinformation or defamation. It’s useless for us to report fake accounts, because ours are governed by Chinese. It’s unfair for Taiwanese users.

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