There are people and companies who create multiple fake FB accounts and build up the friend networks on those accounts for the purpose of selling a product or service, promoting something like a website, or simply selling the FB account. That said, always be sure to check who adds you on Facebook unless this is not important to you. If you accept just about any friend request, you run the risk of having your personal information exposed, and can get yourself spammed with ads.
Here are some guidelines below… but a disclaimer, these are my own, and might not work for you..
1. Check Pictures
If a person sending you a friend request does not have his or her own face on it, or might have other people’s pictures like an actress/actor, a dog… think twice before immediately accepting the request, and do a little investigating.
There are some Facebook accounts however, who have a complete set of photos of the same person but are still bogus.. photos are typically ripped from an unsuspecting user of another network like Friendster or Multiply and used on the fake account.
2. Check the friend request sender’s account profile for comments of other people on their pictures, and see if it appears like these comments are genuine interactions between people who actually know each other, that means that person actually exists.
3. Check the person’s wall and see if anyone has tagged them in pictures, notes or status messages .. if that person is tagged on photos of other people that is a good sign that the person is real and that Facebook account is legit. Look for posts on the wall that reveal a person’s personality, likes and dislikes, hobbies and interests. These are easily spotted in the form of photos and videos of that person, notes, and believable status updates.
4. Check the friend request sender’s wall for posted messages from other people and actual interactions.. if all you see are ..”added…”, “liked”, or “is now friends with”.. it is very likely this account is just being used to build up a network of people in order to market something to and is not owned by an actual person
5. Finally, do a search on Google for the person’s name. If they indeed exist there is a chance that their name is mentioned on some web page somewhere that has been indexed on Google.
Again, I believe it is important to check the add requests you get, because you could be allowing access to private information such as an email address, phone numbers and other personal information that might be taken advantage of by shady individuals. You could also be setting yourself up to get annoying advertising messages. Or worse, your identity get’s stolen and your pictures get used to create a fake personality/account on Facebook or another social networking site.
Here’s one more thing to think about. If you need visitors to send to an offer or to a website… or if you have a business that needs customers.. and you have 10 FB accounts each with 1000 people, you have a total network of 10,000 people. If you post a status message with a link to a website you want to promote, even if 10% of people click the link, that there is instantly 1000 visitors. Imagine if you post at least 5 status messages a day with a link. If your click through rate (CTR) is consistently 10%, then you are able to drive 5000 people everyday to any site of your choosing.
We know Facebook is profitable, and that is due to the website’s high traffic and usage by its members. But you probably would have never guessed it was profitable for some in this manner… people and companies whose business is creating and developing social networking accounts, who get paid to build it from the ground up, and even auction accounts with thousands of friends for thousands of dollars.