Wednesday, May 16, 2018

"Shady Marketplaces Selling Fake Facebook Profiles Operate In Plain Sight"

A Facebook profile seller told BuzzFeed News they typically purchase pictures from a group in India that harvests photos from places like the Russian social networking site VK, which is not indexed by Google and therefore less likely to show up in a reverse image search. The seller told BuzzFeed News that they prefer to buy photos of attractive women. “If you post pics of a sexy girl and send friend requests to Indian men, Arab speakers, or South American men, they will accept quick and then all their friends will request you,” the seller said. “In a few days you will have thousands of friend requests.”

For most buyers, what really matters is that the fake accounts are believably real to the untrained eye and don’t trigger Facebook’s spam protections. To make sure of the latter, many of the aged-account purchasing websites offer explicit instructions to “warm up” the accounts and make them appear authentic. The website for AccsMarket tells users they “must first perform some common actions that a normal person would do after registering. Example: fill out the page, subscribe to several people, put a few likes, fill out the page, fill in some photos, make a few reposts, comments, etc.” The accounts seller noted that one successful way to warm up a profile is to engage in political debate. “I’d make the account pretend to be in favor of Catalonian independence and as soon as you post anything about Catalonia and independence you get dozens of friend requests from indepentists,”