‘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

Thu, 13:19
Mary King greeted with Herald in California

Olympic silver medallist Mary King was met with a familiar sight in the Californian heat on a recent trip to America - as she was greeted with a copy of the Sidmouth Herald.

Read more
Wed, 16:49
Jonathan Marshall

A celebrity falconer’s media career is in ruins after he forged an animal passport for his Golden Eagle so he could appear on the ITV Alan Titchmarsh show.

Read more
Wed, 13:18
Head teacher of Newton Poppleford Primary School, Stuart Vaughan. Ref shs 3049-50-14AW. Picture: Alex Walton.

The £2.5million rebuild of Newton Poppleford Primary School will be good for the pupils and the community as a whole, according to its headteacher.

Read more
Wed, 10:11
Money

Small-scale developers will no longer have to compensate communities for the extra pressure their new homes will place on schools and leisure facilities, under new rules announced by central government.

Read more

Local Weather

Partly Cloudy

Partly Cloudy

max temp: 9°C

min temp: 7°C

Most Read News

Photo Orders
Competitions
Subscriptions
Facebook
Family notices

Digital Edition

Image
Read the Sidmouth Herald e-edition today E-edition
Devon�s trusted business finder