Determine Fake Facebook Profile using Reverse Image Search

Have you ever received a friendship request from a beautiful girl on Facebook OR the social networking site itself suggested you to add a girl as a friend because of the total number of mutual friends between you and that account?

Once you OR that beautiful girl approves the friend request, you will start seeing lots of spammy and self promoting posts in your timeline, because the account of that girl is actually a fake one! Let’s check out in this post how to detect a fake Facebook profile by using a simple reverse image search?

Why create a Fake Account?

Some of the many reasons for creating a fake account are as follows:

  • Earning money through Affiliate Marketing: Many people (boys, teenagers and even grown ups) on Facebook likes to add beautiful girls in their friend list! You will probably see hundreds, and sometimes thousands of people in the friend list of these girls. Whenever they posts an status update, their update generally consists of an affiliate link. When someone clicks on the link and lands on the product page of an e-commerce site, a cookie is set in their browser. If someone buys a product from that website, then the referring person gets a commission. These referrers also use cookie dropping technique, which is used to set a third party cookie of an entirely different website to generate illegitimate sales.
  • Earning money through “Not Safe For Work” sites: NSFW sites are quite addictive and these websites also make use of cookie technology to pay commissions to the referring webmaster, whenever someone buys a subscription or membership from them.
  • Direct Selling: Many people make commercial use of social networking and media sites. Once you have gained lots of friends, followers and likes, selling a product directly to people is easy.
  • Lack of Trust: Many people don’t trust Facebook because of the way it manages their personal information and try to keep their real identity safe from the site. I have personally seen many people using a VPN or TOR browser to browse the social site anonymously!
  • Lack of self confidence: There are many people who are not very self confident and prefers to make a fake profile which have lots of charisma and popularity, that their real personality don’t have!
  • Just for fun!: Making fun of other people is always easy and funny on the internet.

How to perform Reverse Image Search?

If you’re using Google Chrome web browser, then right click on the profile picture of a Facebook profile and click on Search Google for this image:

search google for this image

This will ask the search engine to reverse search the image. If that particular image is present in any web page on the internet, then you will see a full list of all those pages that includes a matching image:

reverse image search

As you can see in above screenshot, the image appears on multiple websites on the internet and is probably a stolen image from some real girl’s web account.

In case you are using some other web browser like Firefox, Opera etc., then right click on the profile picture and select View image:

view image

Now open in a new tab and drag and drop the profile picture from previous tab to the new one for performing a reverse image search:

drop image here

Alternatively you can also paste the image URL in the search box by clicking on the small camera icon and then clicking on search by image button:

search by image

Google’s search by image feature is capable of producing quite a lot of matching images, but you can always use another popular reverse image search engine known as Tineye in following ways:


  • Upload an image directly to the server: Save the fake profile picture onto your computer’s hard drive and upload it to Tineye server from the homepage to perform a reverse image search.
  • Enter image address: Copy the URL of the profile picture and paste it on the homepage and click on search button.
  • Drag-and-drop: You can also drag and drop an image file either stored on your computer OR from an another tab anywhere on the home page of the service.
  • Use browser-based extensions: Instead of visiting the home page every time, you can add the service’s extensions in Chrome, Opera and FireFox web browsers. Now whenever you want to reverse search an image, all you need to do is to right click on the image and select Search Image on TinEye:

search image on tineye

Additional characteristics of a Fake Profile

Following are some more characteristics of a fake Facebook profile:

  • When you visit the photos section of a fake profile, either it will have only one uploaded image or a bunch of images of different individuals.
  • Fake users never ever/rarely posts status updates in their timeline. They also refrain from commenting to the posts of other users.
  • If you only see lots of affiliate links or links to a particular website in the status updates of a profile, then chances are very high that the profile is fake.
  • These type of profiles only keeps on adding random people to their friend list and you will only see this activity in their recent activities. They do not like any page, join any groups, participate in discussions etc.
  • Fake profiles do not contain information about their school or college, current workplace and generally they are interested in both men and women!
  • If you suddenly start getting lots of friend requests from multiple accounts and if you check the date of birth field of these accounts, you will notice that many of them shares the same birth date!
  • Fake profile of girls generally contains a contact number. When someone tries to call that number, he is charged with premium call rates. The money goes directly into the pocket of the creator of fake profile.
  • If lots of other people have posted messages like Who are you?, Do I know you? etc. on the timeline of a profile, then chances are very high that the profile is fake.