Malicious Friends

I don’t know about you, but I get a shit ton of fake friend requests on Facebook and Instagram, so many that I started keeping track for like a month. Then I Googled the phenomenon for insight. Andy O’Donnell of Livewire says that some are scammers to gain access to personal information that might set you up for a phishing attack, a cyber attack via e-mail claiming to be from a valid financial or eCommerce provider. Some are malicious linkers who post malicious links to your newsfeeds after you have accepted the friend request. Some are catfishers who create elaborate online profiles in an attempt to hook victims looking for love. Some are ex-wives/husbands/lovers, some are current significant others, and some are private investigators. Although I don’t think I’m under investigation by my husband or any exes or a PI, I would prefer to avoid being a victim of an avoidable scam or attack.

By the way, do you know any men named Sarah (see above)? That reminds me of that Johnny Cash song, “A Boy Named Sue.” Oh, or was this request generated by a robot? Dan Tynan of IT World says that 5-6% of all accounts are bogus, which puts the number of Facebook fakes between 40-50 million. Basically, there are two types of fakes. The first kind, operated by humans, pretending to be who they are not. And the second, created and operated remotely by software.

Then there are those messages, which show up in Facebook Messenger and may or may not be a threat. Without doubt, they’re a nuisance.  

Be careful: I got a message from you or it shown on our wall here.. Please tell all the contacts in our messenger list not to accept friendship request from Andrea Wilson. She is a hacker and has the system connected to your Facebook account. If one of your contacts accepts it, you will also be hacked, so make sure that all your friends know it. Thanks. Forwarded as received. Hold your finger down on the message. At the bottom in the middle it will say forward. Hit that then click on the names of those in your list and it will send to them THIS is REAL

“It shown on our wall here..”?? If you notice grammar and punctuation issues, IT IS NOT REAL. There is no need to forward any messages to all of your friends.

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Look! Even Jon Hamm wants to be my friend.

I’m probably not saying anything you don’t know, but fake friends are very recognizable. We usually have zero mutual friends. They usually have handsome profile photos and few followers in comparison to the number they follow. They’re often military or athletic or dog lovers. Then there was Marye looking for a serious sugar baby to spoil with a weekly allowance and Margaret whose profile says, “I’m a loving, humble, and caring person that loves putting a smile on people’s faces.” I mean, if you’re that loving, humble, and caring, Margaret, just be that. I find that when people feel compelled to tell you who they are, especially total strangers, more often than not, they’re overcompensating. I’m just trying to be a better person today than I was yesterday. Actions speak louder than words.   

So, trust your intuition, and be careful. I thought I might have known Alex below, so I accepted his request. Lo and behold, he sent me roses. I don’t know about you, but I have better things to do and other things to worry about.  

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If “Hello dear” doesn’t work, neither will “Hey.” Delete.

To report a fake Facebook account, click here for the step-by-step process at Rick’s Daily Tips. He offers friendly help only.  

71 thoughts on “Malicious Friends

  1. I get these occasionally and have actually decided to step away from Facebook for awhile, not sure how long and my Instagram account is a once in a blue moon visit but mainly to see all the wonderful photos of my wife or daughter.
    Don’t let the monkeys get you down – just like the song said – Not all the monkeys live in the zoo, every day you see quite a few, so you see it’s all up to you, you can be better than you are, you could be swinging on a star! ♥

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hi Dave! Long time no see. I was just thinking of searching for you to make sure you’re okay. Instagram is more fun than Facebook these days. What people say to each of on Facebook never ceases to amaze me. It’s all so political. As for me, I choose joy.

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      1. I have been swamped lately with summer. I hate doing it but sometimes delete emails to get caught up in my inbox. I am hiking, biking, and have new tasks popping up like picking the cherries off my tree so that they dont go to waste. Hugs my friend 🇨🇦

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      2. Cherry crisp I think today but most of the cherries yet to be picked and then my wife, bless her heart, cans them so we can enjoy them and give them away in December ! – ♥

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  2. I’m not on Facebook, but I get loads of fake accounts following me on Twitter, Pinterest, and Instagram. If there’s a bunch of numbers in someone’s user handle, that’s a pretty good indicator that it’s a bot.

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  3. “Fake Friend.”

    I read this article, and as I read it I kept asking myself why this article was written. Mostly concern was on my mind. “Stalking” came to mind. AND also the vulnerability we face by every human that has access to the power of “The Word.”

    NOTE: I find irony in the synchronicity of my morning prayer today included naming my “Friends” before God in my heart, and I found a great fortune, there.

    “Friend.” It’s a mighty powerful word. Never mind its dictionary definition. The very word spoken or written inserts its intention right into the heart; where desires, hopes and intention to love and be loved sits between God, Us and a World of all sorts of people. Imagine…a key to all that within us, and its opened by a single word….”Friend.”

    Now, I sit back and I review this article. I am reconsidering its intention. I’m super grateful because (a) I’m happy to realize you are safe, for you are discerning, (b) I am safer because someone cared enough about me to warn me of a danger, (c) and I am reminded how powerful we all are; but mostly feeling EMPOWERED AND ENCOURAGED
    to remember “The Word” and how evil may use it to destroy, and now I am safer from that.

    I only have five real friends. I am not on any social media at all. My understanding of the power of the word “Friend” lead me to this path because I would value my heart that much..maybe too much!

    Then there is that word “Courage.” You seem to have this, and so again, I feel encouraged here.

    Thanks so much for this article. I’m still not going to sign up for social media again for the time being, but it’s great to see you have the finger on how to be safe with it in a world full of less than great intentions.

    But also in your courage and despite evil, you will find many good friends, too. I’m super glad to realize this, too.

    Be safe and well!

    Amen

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    1. Hello Ian!

      Thank you for your intentional words of friendship, concern, and encouragement! My favorite part is about your five real friends. I’m happy that we both have that in our lives. Our truest, most intimate connections form the foundation of our purpose. There’s another blog post lying within that statement. Recently I’ve been thinking a lot about our connections that have the power to transform us. This one right here is one of those. I hope you are well. Thanks for sharing with me today. Sending all good vibes! Amen.

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  4. Even here on wordpress there are fake friends. They come to my site, and I check out their’s and its been deleted! And some try to link a my post and I’ve never seen them before. They are not even following my site. So I don’t approve those anymore. It’s weird for sure.

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  5. I got completely off social media two years ago—except for Word Press. For me, the bad outweighed the good. Do I miss it? Frankly, yes—especially when a friend in person says, “I saw on Facebook…”
    But I don’t miss how it made me feel. I often felt worse after scrolling than I did to begin with. Plus, now I have more time to write stuff only a few people read—because I’m not on social media. 🙂

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      1. It was a bit of a joke on myself. Blogging without leveraging social media hurts traffic. However, I’m satisfied to write what God puts on my heart and then focus on quality, rather than quantity.

        Liked by 1 person

  6. Yeah, I received an email from Euro Dates the other day. It started exactly as you typed it. Hello Dear, I am…… Fortunately I am not on any dating apps, so it was an easy one to spot. Besides I live in the US and don’t get over to Europe all that often anymore. hehehe… Great Post Though! We all need a reminder to be careful on the net. Have a great day Crys!

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  7. Wow! That’s a lot of fake friend requests. I never accept friend requests from people I don’t know. But I do follow just about every one who follows me on WordPress. I hope that is not risky.

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  8. A guy named Sarah? Someone who loves putting smile on people’s faces? I don’t know, Crystal, I’d be afraid of spurning a potential friend for life. I mean, what possibly could go wrong?

    These types don’t limit themselves to Facebook or to Pinterest, either. Every day, my site, lightly-regarded as it is, still gets four to six bogus comments. Usually worded so clumsily as to make even a Nigerian prince blanch. Believe me, if you’ve known many Nigerian princes, you’d appreciate that particular feat.

    And so evolution continues on its way. The scammers thrust, and we parry. Off they go to lick their wounds, to shake their heads, and to refine their techniques. Which we manage, once again, to stymy, if perhaps not quite so easily. So it continues.

    Fascinating, really, if you can manage the detachment to enjoy the show. You’re witnessing natural selection at work. Why do think only the swiftest gazelles and the fleetest lions survived into eternity?

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    1. Keith, I hope you introduce me to one of your many Nigerian prince friends one day. As for the gazelles and lions, hmmm. Survival of the fittest?

      Speaking of wild, have you ever read Haruki Murakami? I’m trying to write a book review. Kafka on the Shore is almost too crazy to convey, but the buried jewels sparkle.

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  9. This is a very interesting post. Since I’m not big into either FB or Instagram, I don’t really worry. I do hate getting emails from banks, especially ones where I don’t have an account set up. I don’t even click on those. If scammers are as sophisticated as they are today, what chance do I stand when I’m in my 80’s and might not understand the “new” technology of the day? Of course, the way things are going, we may be using pen and paper and sticks and stones again by that time. Mona

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  10. Thanks for sharing!.. some folks will do anything to get attention.. 🙂 one reason why I closed my Facebook account a few years ago and never looked back… “I was going to post something on Facebook until I asked myself why.” (David E. Love)… 🙂

    Hope all is well in your part of the universe and life is all that you wish for it to be….

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      1. I was contemplating if I should add this part or not, but I get the most from IG and Words with Friends, of all places. There’s always some creepy white dude who pops up and wants to play (no prob; it’s just a game), but then wants to know where I live, where I work, what do I do…insert any appropriate emoji here lol

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  11. As time goes on I’m finding myself almost completely checked out of social media, hoping to minimize my exposure to weirdos and related security issues. It’s interesting to see a snapshot of online life right now! Thanks

    Liked by 1 person

  12. Tell about it. It is extremely annoying, though there was this great guy, who’d won $382 million in a lottery and just wanted to share with everyone . . . just give him your bank account # 🙂

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      1. YES. I almost fell down that rabbit-hole today with a very, very opinionated friend of mine. I really need to make some decisions about what platforms are worth sticking in, and which aren’t.

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      2. This whole post and thread made me rethink. Emotions seem to be running high, and people are going to believe what they want. I try to stay open-minded, but the conflicting info. and opinions are overwhelming. Can’t we all just get along?

        Liked by 1 person

      3. Exactly so! When I responded to a friend, one of her FB folk lambasted me, pulling one thing I said out of context as an excuse to berate. It’s as if people feel like they only need to look for buzzwords or hyped text and base ALL their feelings on that, rather than the entirety of what’s said. It’s…it’s just very sad.

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  13. Good (but yes, sad) knowledge to have — thank you — I have had similar issues with Linkedin which doesn’t have very great protection against hackers, so be careful there as well.

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