Do you know how to spot a fake celebrity social media account?
Social media is at the core of modern culture and its use in business has grown dramatically in recent years, including for celebrities and social media influencers. Unfortunately, social media channels are also a major target for cybercriminals.
Today millions of fake profiles pose specifically as actors, music entertainers, sports personalities, social media influencers, tv personalities and other well-known figures, with the intention of cheating people out of money – or even worse.
Cybercriminals are using social media as a method of social engineering for a variety of illegal purposes. This also includes impersonating celebrities and social media influencers.
The issues of fake social media accounts and impersonation on social media platforms like Instagram, Facebook and Twitter are huge. All internet users run the risk of being targeted by cybercriminals, but especially celebrities, social media influencers and other public figures are very appealing targets. The efforts and lengths cybercriminals are willing to go to increases every single day.
For many celebrities, the flood of fake social media accounts can cause real-life headaches. We have seen this happening to celebrities such as Oprah Winfrey, Mark Wahlberg, Mark Zuckerberg, Crystal Hefner, Corey Feldman, Khloe Terae – the list goes on. Many of the celebrities even go to the extent of warning their own followers about these fake accounts and scams to keep their fans and followers safe.
How to spot a fake celebrity account on social media
We have put together a list of our top 5 factors to look for when spotting a celebrity impostor account on social media.
1. Look for the blue verification badge
Many social media sites allow well-known public figures to verify their accounts, which provides them with a blue badge next to their username. When looking at celebrity social media accounts, always look for the blue verification badge, as it indicates that their account is genuine.
2. Look for unusual formatting, typos or grammatical errors
Does the username have any unusual formatting? What about their profile text and captions and comments?
3. When was the social media account created
Is it brand new or well-established? What about their followers, do they look random? How many do they have? Are they from other countries than what you would have expected?
4. Analyse their posts
Analyse their number of posts and their posting style. Look for the amount of posts and whether they are fairly recent or posted over the span of a short time. Fake accounts might sometimes have hundreds of posts to make it look like a real account, but if the posts are from around the same time, the cybercriminals might be posting to fake authenticity.
If a big majority of their posts relates to promotional material such as suspicious giveaways, fake discounts, items or fake affiliation, this is could be an indicator of an impostor account, as they might be attempting to trick you.
If any of their content or Instagram bio contains links, hover over the link to see where it directs. Is it legit and does it direct to where it should? If the link goes to a well-known site, look for small changes or typos in the URL, as it could be a phishing or malware attempt. We highly encourage you to never click any suspicious links, as it could be a phishing attempt.
We always recommend to thoroughly review account details before engaging with any accounts on social media. Fake accounts on social media are inevitable and the first line of defence is knowledge. It’s important to learn how to recognise fake accounts and what to do if you encounter one.
Are you or your client in need of social media protection services? At CelebProtect, we offer a comprehensive solution to detect and monitor social media impersonation, online fraud and brand abuse on social media for celebrities, social media influencers and other well-known public figures. We provide 24/7 monitoring and industry-leading takedown times to remove any threats found immediately.
Get in touch today to receive a free brand protection scan or discuss how we can help you or your client to stay safe and protected on social media.