The online world can be a wonderful place. It’s a place people can connect, stay in touch with loved ones and access more information than ever before.
Sadly, like so many things, it also comes with its downsides. While many of us operate with the best of intentions, the online world can be a place where people can hide in plain view, or pretend they’re someone they’re not.
We’ve recently been made aware of people posing as Dolly’s Dream on Facebook, using our name to try and extort money from our wonderful supporters.
So, how can you identify a fake Facebook account, and what should you do if you encounter one?
Identifying a fake account
It can be difficult to identify a fake account, especially when they’re re-using credible content. Here are a few things you can look out for:
- Is the page contacting you a business or not-for-profit page or an individual pretending to be a page?An organisation (like Dolly’s Dream) will not have a ‘Friends’ tab on their page. Individuals will. It’s a good marker of whether an account is real or not.
- Is the page listed as a non-profit organisation?If you look at the top of our page you’ll see that it clearly states we are a non-profit organisation. This isn’t information we type in manually ourselves, but information on the type of Facebook page we have.
- Does the page have followers?An individual pretending to be a page won’t have the significant number of followers that we do. We work hard to connect with our wonderful community and are proud of how many people follow the work that we do.
- Are there obvious errors or typos in the page information?Fake accounts are often littered with grammatical errors, such as an absence of apostrophes or use of American grammar. If there’s a typo on the page contacting you, think twice before you engage.
- Is the page asking you to click a link that doesn’t look like it’s from a credible source?We will only share content with you that comes from a credible source, and we will never ask for your credit card details in the comments. If the link doesn’t look right to you, don’t click it.
- Can you find the page in a search?Fake pages are usually run by individuals who use our name as a ‘vanity’ name. This means you won’t find the page under ‘Dolly’s Dream’ in a search.
How to report a fake account
It can be very difficult to get a false account removed. The best way is to report the page to Facebook directly. You can find details on how to report a fake account here.
We also ask that you contact us to let us know about the fake account, so that we can also report it. To help us report the right page please share the profile that has contacted you with us, as we are unable to find these pages in a search. You can do this by clicking on the profile and copy and pasting the URL that comes up for the page.
Like anything online, if you see something that doesn’t look right, question it. Don’t click on suspect links, and don’t be afraid to reach out if something doesn’t look right to you. We want to ensure we are doing everything to keep our wonderful community safe online.