Have you connected with someone on Facebook that immediately starts private messaging you? Did they feel like a creepy online predator?
Does this new Facebook friend appear to be interested in you very quickly?
You are especially vulnerable to predators on Facebook as this is where you share so much personal information and pictures of your self, your life and family.
Online predators love pictures; in fact, they are creeping your pictures right now.
Online predators aren’t just men, there are female predators out there as well. They usually have a different goal which is to swindle you out of your hard earned cash. However, in this post I’ve created a public service message for women where I’ll share signs of male predators you need to watch out for.
As someone with a public profile and over 13,000 combined friends and followers I have seen this first hand many times. I’ll even admit to getting conned by an online predator myself, but then again, I couldn’t know all of this information had I not.
So here are the ten signs you need to watch out for to ensure you can spot a Facebook predator. Below them you will find an image that you can share with your friends, family and across social media to help other women guard against these online predators.
10 Signs You Just Friended an Online Predator on Facebook
Do they have a much higher proportionate of female friends?
Go to their friends list and click on “All Friends” and take a look at who they have friended on Facebook. It’s also helpful to click on “Recently Added” to see who they have added recently; you’ll likely see a pattern. You will also find that a minimum of 60% of their friend are female.
Are many of their Facebook friend’s young attractive women?
While reviewing their list of friends and recently added friends, how many of them are young women? If it’s a 25-year-old man, it would be normal for them to have young women as friends. However, if they are a 65-year-old man, it’s a sign of extreme creepiness and more likely a sign you’ve friended a predator.
Do some (or many) of the women they are friends with have very provocative pictures?
If this new Facebook friend is an online predator, you will likely find they are friends with many women that have very provocative pictures both in their profiles and as their profile picture. This is one of the reasons I discourage women from posting sexy or bikini type pictures, they become magnets for predators.
In addition to their friends, who are they following on Facebook?
Take a look through the people they follow. When you send a friend request to someone with an open profile and they do not accept it, you are automatically following them. It’s highly likely that 90% of the people the predator is “following” are female.
Do you start receiving notifications that they are ‘liking’ and commenting on your pictures?
I wrote in the beginning of this article that online predators love pictures, once you’ve accepted them as a friend they will start going through all your pictures…yes ALL of them. You will start receiving notifications when they have clicked “like” or “love” on your individual pictures. They’ll likely be commenting on some of them too.
Have they started private messaging you via Facebook Messenger?
You will know that you have just connected with an online predator if they start messaging you very shortly after you accepted their connection request. You will also notice that they spend a LOT of time online. Look to the chat window and you’ll see the little green online circle showing they are online (or were online within the hour) each time you login to Facebook. Predators do much of their preying via Facebook Messenger.
Do they message you that they’re interested in learning more about your products or services?
Since they are usually messaging very attractive women and often young women they will take a backdoor type of approach versus just asking you out immediately. They will want to learn more about the service you offer, or the product you sell or a group you are a part of. They will want to build your trust so that you will meet them offline – phone, Skype or in person, which brings me to the next sign.
Do they try and schedule a time to meet you in person?
They will want to meet you offline as soon as possible. Most women are reluctant to meet a stranger in person, however that changes when you think this stranger could be a customer for your product or service. They will often want to buy whatever you sell as a way of getting closer to you. This allows them to meet you in person and they can show you in real life how charming they are because predators are always charming and usually narcissists.
Do you suddenly find them going to the same places as you (gym, yoga class, restaurants, events)?
Remember everything you post on Facebook the predator is seeing. They know where you are spending your time, what networking groups you are a part of, what events you are attending, when and where you go to yoga, what your favorite restaurants are, what your kids look like. You name it…they know it. Don’t be surprised if they “coincidentally” show up at one of those places.
Do they appear to have many of the same interests as you?
They are watching what you post to see what you are interested in and they will show lots of interest those exact things. You’re interested in spirituality, so are they. You love yoga, so do they. You’re a family person, so are they? You were hurt in a relationship, OMG so were they. You’d think this person lived a parallel life to yours. And please be careful if you are sharing vulnerabilities on Facebook, they will prey upon those exact vulnerabilities.
There are men out there that use Facebook as a dating site and contact the occasional women, I’m not talking about those kids of men that may partake in the odd shady kind of dating activity.
If you are a woman, especially a single woman and you see some of these signs from a new Facebook friend don’t make the mistake in believing this a nice guy that’s interested in you. He’s doing this to dozens, possibly hundreds of other women.
This is not a nice guy; he is a predator!
This article is quite a deviation from my normal content on social media and digital marketing strategies however I thought it was really important to share this. Many people still don’t know the signs to be aware of so this is my contribution as the woman’s guide to avoiding Facebook predators. At a later date I will write another one that focuses on the scams they get inflicted upon men as they too are preyed upon for an entirely different reason – almost always as a financial scam.
Don’t get me wrong, there are many wonderful people on Facebook. But it’s important to know that social media has provided very easy access for predators and they are out there. I’ve become a PRO at clicking “Block” when needed, you should too. Please watch out for these signs. The signs of a predator are always there, online and offline, you just have to look.
Have you connected with someone on Facebook that fits some of these signs? What types of messages have you received that may have raised red flags that your new Facebook friend could be a predator? What other signs do you look for to avoid connecting with an online predator? I’d love to hear them, please share in the comments below.