Updated: Apr 9
Is that really who you think it is?
It has been said, "Imitation is the highest form of flattery," but when someone uses your name to deceive your friends they are setting them up for a scam.
There are a variety of reasons someone may create a fake account on social media. None of them are good. Generally, I think we could generally classify these fakes in one or more of these categories:
Evildoers. Their goal is purely to deceive and defraud.
Envious. It may be someone who knows you and their jealousy is their motivation
Empty-headed. Their life is shallow and they take pleasure in manipulating others
How to tell a friend from a fake? Here are some questions to verify whether or not a friend request is really from a friend:
Do you recognize the person?
Are they already a "friend" on Facebook
Is their "About" information complete?
How many times have they posted?
How many friends do they have and how many mutual friends?
How detailed is their page?
How long have they been a member of FB?
Some scammers create elaborate pages to deceive their victims. If you still aren't sure, take a moment and send them a message like this:
"Hi! Thanks for the friend request! Just to make sure it is you, please tell me something only you and I would know."
Even as there are many reasons for people to create a fake account, there are different reasons we may naively be fooled by them.
We like to be liked. Popularity feeds our pride.
We're needy. Maybe we're lonely, going through a tough time, or have low self-esteem.
We're in a hurry and don't want to take a closer look.
We are flattered. The request comes from a handsome guy or a beautiful girl.
We're foolish. Suggestive or seductive images feed our fantasies.
Who doesn't want friends? We like to be liked. We want to be popular. When we start "needing" to be liked because of loneliness or low self-esteem, we are vulnerable to a scam. If we are looking for relationships, it may be tempting to accept a friend request from someone attractive. Our emotions and hormones can blind us to online dangers. Don't be fooled!
Who is really behind the deceit?
Throughout human history, people have been lying. Even today, as evidenced by the number of half-truths and lies spread by people from politicians to the press, mankind is deceitful.
The first people on earth were deceived by a lie and this deceit became part of man's spiritual DNA. Prevarication has been passed down from generation after generation. When we shade the truth, pretend to be something we are not, or blatantly deceive, we are resembling the Deceiver himself. The Lord Jesus confronted some religious leaders in his day who were pretending to be something they weren't-God's children.
You belong to your father, the devil, and you want to carry out your father’s desire. He was a murderer from the beginning, not holding to the truth, for there is no truth in him. When he lies, he speaks his native language, for he is a liar and the father of lies (Jn. 8:44).
When Jack Nicholson's character in the movie, A Few Good Men, said, "You can't handle the truth!" it was not only a great piece of passionate acting, it was a reminder that the truth is often hard to handle. Some avoid visits to their doctor because they don't want to be told their lifestyle is unhealthy and they know he will tell them the truth. Yet, without the truth, we will never be free (Jn. 8:32).
Those pretending to be someone they are not are living a lie. Many people choose to avoid facing reality by believing lies. In the short term, it may be easier to pretend nothing is wrong rather than admit the truth. Ultimately, we all have to face the truth.
Can you handle the truth?
Yet because I tell the truth, you do not believe me! 46 Can any of you prove me guilty of sin? If I am telling the truth, why don’t you believe me? 47 He who belongs to God hears what God says. The reason you do not hear is that you do not belong to God" (Jn. 8:45-47).
The Lord Jesus Christ is the Son of God (God, the Son) and proclaimed,
“I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me" (Jn 14:6).
Now, that's the truth. The sooner we get real with God and admit our failure to live up to His truth, the sooner we will trust Him to forgive us and live a life of reality instead of deceit.
It doesn't take long to check out the profile page of a would-be "friend." Pause long enough to investigate and you may not only protect yourself from scams, but also those who truly are your friends.
It also doesn't take long to admit our need for God's forgiveness and guidance. Once we do, we will find the One Who died and rose from the grave for us to be the True Friend we desperately need.
For more information on knowing the One True God, please contact us.