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


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.


Other News Stories


A Sidmouth man died as a result of serious failings at an Exeter mental health unit, an inquest heard.

Read more
Yesterday, 19:30

Next week is the last chance to see special exhibitions at Sidmouth Museum before they are dismantled to make way for new displays in 2017.

Read more
Yesterday, 16:26

A brave puppy who was lost in the wilderness for five days has been found and reunited with his Newton Poppleford family.

Read more
Yesterday, 13:18

Police encourage victims to report incidents

Read more
Yesterday, 13:00

The King’s School’s new headteacher is setting his sights on ‘making a difference’ and maintaining the ‘outstanding’ standards left by his predecessor, as he completes his first term in post.

Read more
Yesterday, 11:30

There’s just a few days to go to Exmouth Means Business – the one-day networking event, aimed at businesses from Exmouth, East Devon and Exeter.

Read more
Yesterday, 09:00

Calls have been made for Tip Hill to become a 20mph zone after an 11-year-old boy was ‘clipped’ by a vehicle on his way to school.

Read more
Yesterday, 06:24

‘Change the Local Plan for Sidmouth,’ says resident

Read more
Wed, 20:00

Warnings over counterfeit cash have been issued to shop and business owners across East Devon.

Read more

Local Weather

Partly Cloudy

Partly Cloudy

max temp: 9°C

min temp: 6°C

Most Read News

Useful Links

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

Family Notices 24

Read Online

Read the Sidmouth Herald e-edition E-edition

Newsletter Sign Up

Local business directory

Devon's trusted business finder


Show Job Lists

Find planning applications