Snapchat: How to Tell If It’s a Real Account
Apart from the more obvious indicators, like not having a profile picture or other personal information displayed, there are now genuine ways to tell if an account is real or fake.
This question mainly gets raised when it comes to celebrities, but it also occurs on the “local” side. Sometimes an account can look authentic, but it turns out it’s a regular person (or group) pretending to be someone famous or a person you know.
Fake profiles get created just for fun or out of boredom. Other times, non-genuine accounts could be a hacking attempt to distribute malware, as seen on Meta (formerly Facebook) many times. Furthermore, others may do it for more serious, sometimes harmful reasons, like stalking or harassment. Here’s how you can tell if an account is real or not.
Check for Verified Accounts
You probably won’t find verified accounts for your close friends, but you definitely will see them for celebrities and users that get tons of attention. This scenario occurs because you cannot apply for certified status. There is no form to fill out. Your attention on the platform earns it, as long as Snapchat catches the attention you’re getting. At that point, you can reach out to them about the matter.
It’s easier to find your favorite celebrity’s profile now that Snapchat has introduced the “Official Stories” feature and the “emoji indicator.” So, how does the “Verified” status work?
If you search for Ariana Grande, for example, an emoji will be displayed next to her name, which confirms the account is authentic. Also, her snaps will get listed under the “Official Stories” title. If you don’t see both items, it doesn’t necessarily mean that the account is fake. Check the attention level, such as the views on some of their stories.
Telltale Signs of a Fake Account
These signs may indicate that an account isn’t real, even if we’re not talking about celebrities but someone you know.
- Not everyone wants to use a picture of themselves for their profile picture, but using a default photo or not having one at all can be a bit suspicious.
- If someone you know creates a Snapchat profile, make sure it’s them by looking at their Friends list on Facebook or who they follow on Instagram. If they follow the same people on Snapchat, it’s likely to be them.
- The content that they post doesn’t reflect their behavior and beliefs in real life—it simply doesn’t sound like them.
- There’s little to no engagement, and it’s unrelated to their real-life interests.
The above scenarios don’t necessarily mean that the account is fake, but they can raise some red flags. Regardless, some people like to follow what others do on social media without too much interaction.
What to Do When You Discover a Fake Account
Blocking and reporting an account that you believe is fake is the first and the best step you can take.
How to Report a Snapchat Account
- Tap on the “user’s name” and hold until a menu appears.
- Choose “Report” from the list of options.
It’s simple as that! The Snapchat team will then consider your report and take action accordingly.
What If Your Account Is Threatened?
You certainly wouldn’t feel very comfortable if someone created a fake profile with your name and photo and pretended to be you. But it may be even worse if someone hacked your account and started posting instead of you or sending messages to your friends.
Of course, your real friends will immediately realize something is wrong, but here are the most common reasons to report a Snapchat user.
- Your friends are telling you they keep receiving weird or spam messages from your profile.
- You keep receiving notifications that someone logged into your account from a different place.
- You got logged out without doing so yourself.
- The email address or phone number you’ve entered into the app has now changed.
The above scenarios are suspicious, so immediately change your password and activate the two-factor authentication. You can opt to receive a log-in code via SMS whenever you want to log in from a new location or device. This way, your account will add another security layer.
Fake Snapchat Profiles are Not Illegal, but Not Funny Either
Creating a fake profile on social media is still not considered an illegal act. What you do with the account determines the legal status, such as incorporating malware/spyware or even trying to discredit someone by pretending to be them. Regardless, it’s against Snapchat terms and conditions. Therefore, a fake account could get removed.
Some indicators can give a fake profile away, but sometimes, it’s impossible to know. You can report the account you think is fake and move on to other verified accounts.