I Accepted Fake Facebook Friends and TBH You Won’t Be That Surprised by What Happened Next

They wanted to sell me sunglasses

When Roxy the Surf Dog retires, she should totally sell sunglasses.

When Roxy the Surf Dog retires, she should totally sell sunglasses. (Photo: MARK RALSTON/AFP/Getty Images)

A number of us here in Observer offices have been getting these dumb friend requests from people we don’t know or recognize on Facebook, so this reporter volunteered to start accepting them to see what happened. Here’s it is:

Two ads for Ray-Ban deals from false friends on Facebook (names stricken in case these were once real profiles).

Two ads for Ray-Ban deals from false friends on Facebook (names stricken in case these were once real profiles). Photo: Screenshot

They tried to sell me sunglasses.

That’s it.

Again and again, they tried to sell me sunglasses. In fact, just now, I got two photos posted to my wall at basically the same time from “women” whose friendship I had accepted, suggesting that I buy sunglasses.

$24.99 for Ray-Bans? Even on Overstock.com they go for over $100. This should strike anyone as an obvious scam.

This is the least sophisticated eyewear attack on Zuckerberg’s empire, according to a story today on the Washington Post‘s site. That story tells how people have been hacked and then malware autoposted information about Ray-Ban charity events on their friend’s profiles. The story goes on to say that the advertised websites never last long before getting shut down by the authorities.

I saw a much gentler version. The miscreants just constructed fake profiles and asked masses of people to become friends directly. The accounts that added me could have been hacked accounts, I suppose, but most of them had very few friends when I accepted, usually less than a dozen.

My “friends” never said anything about charity in their posts, either. The ads pitched sales. Of the eight new “friendships” I accepted over the course of this reporting, six of the accounts are no longer available.

So, it looks like the team in Menlo Park has been keeping a keen lookout for anything shady.

I Accepted Fake Facebook Friends and TBH You Won’t Be That Surprised by What Happened Next