Online Verification System Helps ID Facebook Fraud

By Joe Shortsleeve, WBZ-TV

BOSTON (CBS) – Kelly Quigley is outraged that her daughter feels victimized by a social networking site she never joined. “Not being able to do something to protect my child was the worst part of this,” she said.

Someone created a fake Facebook profile of her 12-year-old daughter Casey and posted phony comments. “They had what I’m interested in, what school I go to. All my information is out there,” Casey explained.

Emerson College social medial professor Dave Gerzof says it is easy to find a photo of someone and create a fake profile in a matter of minutes. “All you need is a valid email address,” he said. “I don’t know the exact numbers, but there are quite a few fake profiles out there,” he added.

WBZ-TV’s Joe Shortsleeve reports

What makes this even more difficult is that under Facebook’s own rules, Casey is too young to have an account. You have to be at least 13 to register. The Quigleys notified Facebook that Casey was underage and her page was fraudulent. But the Quigleys say Facebook was slow to respond. “I tried to call them. We sent them letters. I created a profile myself. I did everything in my power to contact Facebook, but you can’t get a live person,” Kelly explained. After nine months, Kelly says Facebook finally took down the bogus profile.

This type of thing happens all too often. It’s called cyber impersonation and its not just about middle schoolers posting nasty messages. Gerzof says even adults can easily be fooled by a fraudulent Facebook account. They look real enough so it is easy to see how you might friend a fraudulent page without knowing it. “Once you become friends, your privacy settings open up to a whole new set of information,” he said.

Fraud is the main reason Massachusetts native Dave Gordon created “ is the first online verification system,” he explained. The site verifies that you are who you say you are. It even gives you a certification mark on your Facebook pages so everyone will know what you are the real deal. also works on other sites like Craig’s list and online dating services. “It helps to know exactly who you are transacting with, to cut down on fraud,” he said.

Kelly Quigley thinks there should be more protection. “I think they need to have some sort of laws in place to protect children. As an adult, I think it’s equally important,” she said.

In California, it is now a crime to impersonate someone on Facebook. The state of Washington is working on a similar law. In Massachusetts, lawmakers recently passed a law to protect kids from cyber-bullying. But right now there is nothing on the books to specifically address cyber impersonation.

  • Brian

    I can relate.FakeBook is more like it. Someone tagged my photos with crude comments and there was no way to clean it up , delete them or have any control over my account but every one else can. I Deleted my account and never going back.

    • lori

      Yes, people can make fake pages and people that do that are rude mean spitefull angry people. As far as tagging photos goes, I don’t know if you had your page listed as private or not. If you had it listed as private then it was one of your friends that tagged your photos with nasty notes. If your page is NOT private then EVERYONE on Facebook can see your photos. I have my page set to private.

  • Matt Ackley

    Hey I looked into that service and I got myself verified pretty easily. This article should have the link in there, in case anyone is interested the link is

  • Jeff

    That web service has a Libyan domain name (.ly) Not sure if I’d want my internet traffic being routed through that country. There was a recent story on Yahoo! regarding this issue and the dangers it entails.

  • karen

    how can you prove who is making up facebooks under your name? im having this issue and i would love to prove it..this person is also making up fake names to threaten me…

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