Don't miss a story sign up to Sidmouth Herald's FREE daily newsletter CLICK HERE

‘Fiend requests’

18:30 08 April 2014

The profiles only show their current town, which in most cases is Sidmouth

The profiles only show their current town, which in most cases is Sidmouth

Archant

scammers and online sex predators could be behind a string of fake Sidmouth-based social network profiles, residents have warned.

A number of people have already received the sham friend requests on Facebook – which have profiles riddled with inaccuracies and misleading photographs.

The ‘people’ in the profiles usually have normal names, but have just one or two photographs in their profile pictures.

The profiles only show their ‘current town’, which in most cases is Sidmouth.

Mathew Akrill, who lives in Sidmouth, said he received seven friend requests over the course of a couple of weeks.

He said: “I have 400 friends from Sidmouth so I’m surprised to see the profiles have no mutual friends. I checked the photos to see if I recognise them, but there are always two pictures.

“I think one is to make you think ‘Wow, she’s good looking!’ and then the next is one with children to make them look like family people.

“It makes you feel like they are building up a false life to make you think they are nice people. Once they are friends with you, they can see all your pictures, including any with children in. Who knows what they are up to?”

Other residents have also questioned the motives of the people behind the fake accounts.

Lauren Wake-Squires of Sidmouth said she was concerned at the effort being taken to make the profiles.

She received and deleted four fake friend requests over two weeks. “We do not know if these people want to access our information or photos of our children,” she said.

“There must be a good reason for someone, or a group of people, to be making these profiles and going to the effort.”

Gary Gates, youth intervention officer for East Devon, said fake profiling is a serious issue for website users.

“If you don’t have a Facebook profile, are you sure?” he said. “You should search for yourself.

“Some people will create a profile in your name for a joke or for banter, but sometimes sadly with malicious intent. You should only accept someone you know in the real world [as a friend].”

Anyone with any suspicions of fake profiling can use the Facebook Help Centre to report it.

0 comments

Other News Stories

11:00
Pecorama cheque presentation to Parkinsons UK.

Pecorama near Beer has raised £1,500 for charity, split equally between Parkinson’s UK and the MS Society.

Read more
Yesterday, 16:59
Dropped kerb could soon be installed opposite Abbeyfield Court in Sidmouth

Appeal from residents to assist people with mobility problems has been listened to

Read more
Yesterday, 16:30
The Sid Valley Neighbourhood Plan logo

The protection of the Sid Valley’s natural beauty is among residents’ top concerns, a major questionnaire has revealed.

Read more
Yesterday, 15:39
Hot Pennies is a traditional part of Sidbury Fair week. Ref shs 0906-38-15SH. Picture: Simon Horn

Organisers of Sidbury Fair Week are looking forward to another packed programme to bring the community together.

Read more
Yesterday, 14:25
Mark Wakely is counting on your votes.

Public support has sent a Sidmouth plumber into the final of a national competition.

Read more
Yesterday, 12:33

Criminals attempted to break into an empty property in Sidmouth.

Read more
Yesterday, 11:18
St Saviours

Plans for vacant St Saviours get green light

Read more
Yesterday, 10:35
Nathan Riley.

A little boy was left with five stitches in his leg after cutting himself on a broken, abandoned, disposable barbecue on Sidmouth beach.

Read more
Tue, 16:30

Vandals threw a bench, a sign, large logs and a red bike into the River Sid over the weekend.

Read more
Tue, 13:16
The Tour of Britain stage start on Sidmouth seafront in 2013. Bradley Wiggins is pictured centre in the yellow jersey. Photo by Simon Horn. Ref shs 9563-38-13SH

‘The race has just gone up another notch in the thrill stakes’

Read more

Local Weather

Overcast

Overcast

max temp: 22°C

min temp: 13°C

Most Read News

Useful Links

Family notices
Advertise in the paper
Submit a Story
Submit a Story
Buy Photos
Competitions
iwitness24
Facebook
Twitter
Google Plus Page
Reader Travel

Family Notices 24

Read Online

Image
Read the Sidmouth Herald e-edition E-edition

Newsletter Sign Up

Local business directory

Devon's trusted business finder

HOT JOBS

Show Job Lists


Find planning applications