Has your online social status been blowing with friend requests lately? Requests from suspicious characters like a male Triathlete named April or someone that just made friends with 46 other people? Are you or your friends getting spammed with ads for things like cheap sunglasses? If you or your friend(s) are, it’s likely due to someone accepting a friend request from a
Check out some of the culprits (from my personal experience), and see what you can do to help eliminate this…
Since cyclists are such a chummy bunch (and we all kinda look alike when suited up), Spammers are posing as cyclists and targeting real cyclists by sending them friend requests. Many of these are from overseas, but regardless, they’re finding their way into our online social-circle and posting spam on our timeline. It’s an almost impossible thing for Facebook to police before it’s happened and reported so it’s going to be up to us and our actual friends to be more aware.
Here are some things you can do, and PLEASE… spread the word! (especially to those “you know whos” you keep seeing accept the fraudulent requests).
- Screen your requests by checking their stats. Most are pretty easy to figure out… especially if you’ve never met. If their profile was just set up, or their profile pic is a different person than the rest of their pics, this is a dead giveaway.
- Call your friends out! If you notice the spammer has a mutual friend, let them know because it will otherwise spread like wildfire. (repeat offenders should owe you a beer)
- Report them. Yes, this is tiresome and calling your naive friends out is way more fun, but it’s a means to an end to clean things up.
- Change your friend request settings to “friends of friends”. This will make it so that only people who are friends with one of your friends may send you a request. It’s not bullet proof, but it will cut down on most spam requests.
- Hide your friends list from everybody including your friends. If one makes its way in, this will prevent your friends from falling victim… and you getting called out.
- Make sure your timeline and photo privacy are set to “friends” so it’s harder for spammers to know you belong to the cycling community.
- Change your profile & background photos to a non-cycling subject matter. I know you may have just died a little on the inside, but that is how they find and then friend-attack you.