Fake Accounts Pose Real Threats


Every month top social media platforms take down countless fictitious accounts. Meta, the company that runs Facebook, reported it deleted 1.6 billion false profiles in the first quarter of 2022 alone, and the worry over fake accounts has impacted recent acquisition talks at Twitter. While many fraudulent social media profiles are created by bots to boost posts, the concerning ones are human made. These false accounts don't carry the digital clues of mass bot-generated profiles, and that makes them harder to identify and remove.


LinkedIn has reported an uptick in fraudulent investment schemes in what the FBI is calling a “significant threat” to the platform and consumers. The malicious activities typically start with scammers posting a professional-looking fictitious profile—sometimes impersonating CEOs or other known individuals in the world of finance. The criminals post to the fake profile to build credibility with potential targets, and once a victim is identified, the scammer contacts them via the LinkedIn direct messaging feature. The fraudsters build trust with their victims by initially directing them to legitimate investment platforms and then over time convince them to move money to a different platform that the scammer operates. According to the Federal Trade Commission (FTC), victims lost approximately $575 million between January 2021 and March 2022.


How do you combat the real reputational threats that come from fake social media profiles?


Insite offers Fraudulent Profile Remediation. Our analysts identify fictitious profiles associated with client brands and executives on major sites—including LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram—and coordinate removals with the platform providers.


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