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

‘Fiend requests’

PUBLISHED: 18:30 08 April 2014 | UPDATED: 11:56 10 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

A cross-stitch tapestry recreating a famous panoramic view of the seafront has been donated to Sidmouth Museum.

Read more

An Ottery business has donated £10,000 to give a campaign ‘a fighting chance’ to battle against the decision to lose beds at Honiton Hospital.

Read more
15:19

Woodbury Castle in the mist by Richard White wins our iwitness24 photo challenge, My Countryside.

Read more
11:47

Matthew Collings wrote to the paper regarding high business rates paid by Sidmouth business owners.

Read more
10:51

Devon County Council’s public health team is warning people to be ‘tick aware’ as they get out and about in the countryside, due to the risk of health problems including Lyme disease.

Read more
10:45

A former RAF cadet hall in Sidmouth will be replaced with two bungalows for elderly residents if an outline planning application is approved.

Read more

Plans for a 100-acre quarry on Ottery’s outskirts have been labelled as ‘unsustainable’ and ‘irresponsible’ by objectors.

Read more

A man was airlifted to hospital on Monday after suffering a suspected a seizure.

Read more

A cut-throat barber is celebrating brilliant beards and marvellous moustaches in a new competition at Sidmouth FolkWeek.

Read more
Yesterday, 12:03

A driver was treated for smoke inhalation after a blaze that severely damaged a van in Sidmouth yesterday evening (Sunday).

Read more

Local Weather

Partly Cloudy

Partly Cloudy

max temp: 12°C

min temp: 10°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

Sign up to receive our regular email newsletter

Local business directory

Devon's trusted business finder

HOT JOBS

Show Job Lists


Find planning applications