Snapchat is one of the biggest social media platforms out there, and there can be many users on there who send you messages or otherwise and you want to find out who they are. So how do you find out who made a fake Snapchat account?
You can look at their profile within the app, use some search techniques, employ social engineering or use a reverse image search.
While none of these techniques guarantee you can uncover the identity of an account, they can be very effective in finding out more information about an account, especially if it is not a sophisticated fake. However, in some cases it may be impossible.
How to Find Out Who’s Behind a Fake Snapchat Account?
Fake Snapchat accounts can be very hard to investigate and uncover their true owner, as if someone has gone far enough to create a fake account, they’re going to cover their tracks as best as possible.
Many fake Snapchat accounts will also be generated by software that may be creating hundreds if not thousands of fake or spam accounts.
One of the best ways to get around Snapchat’s own privacy policies and secrecy around their user’s information, is to directly engage with the account and try and get information out of it.
This is referred to as social engineering, and involves getting the target to give up information by relying on social cues, manipulation, and general techniques revolving around how people think and act.
For example, if you can start up a conversation and notice how the account responds to you, it may give an indication if they are a native English speaker, or even what timezone they operate in.
You can try and create a false sense of urgency, excitement or other emotion to get people to give up information by acting rashly or without thinking.
Of course, these people are going to be reticent about their background and other identifying information, and likely have a raft of lies ready for you.
Reverse Image Search
There are many great services out there that can search for a picture to find out where it came from. You can try using TinEye, Google Image search (click on the camera icon to upload a picture or drag into the box) and many others.
If the person behind the account is smart, they’ll just pick an image that is widely spread throughout the internet and even crop it or edit it in some way so that it can’t be traced back to their account.
Connect the Dots
Often fake accounts will find you by adding random people or by working their way through a friends list.
This means that for a fake account who is known to you, the chances of them being known to several of your friends is also a possibility.
So looking through your mutual friends may be a clue to who the person behind the account is. To do this you will need to start from your own profile and tap on the Bitmoji you have in the upper lefthand corner of the app.
Tap on Add Friends and then you should be presented with the Quick Add menu showing a list of users. Now, this list is curated and contains several different types of people, with a strong suspicion that many of them are mutual friends.
However, unfortunately, Snapchat doesn’t tell you which ones are mutual friends and which ones are just random people which may make good friend suggestions for you, but it is likely that the algorithm that suggests these candidates pulls them from your mutual friends.
You also get some leads from people to talk to who may have further information about who is behind the fake account.
Is It Illegal to Make a Fake Snapchat Account?
It is not illegal to make a fake Snapchat account as a fake Snapchat account is just an account that is purporting to be something that it is really not, be that a fake name, impersonation or other anonymous accounts.
There are no laws against just making the account although you may start running into some issues with fraud if you make misrepresentations about who you are, especially if commercial transactions start to become involved with these representations.
Snapchat has rules against impersonation, and you can always report individual Snaps, Accounts, or other content by following the instructions on Snapchat’s own reporting page.
To report an account, you can press and hold on the Snapchatters’ name and hit the More option (often represented by a spiked wheel) and then Report.
Do Police Make Fake Snapchat Accounts?
The police certainly make fake Snapchat accounts. Snapchat has become slightly notorious among criminals and others wanting to do illegal activity given the temporary nature of the messages and so police know there are lots of leads to be found there.
People have been trading all types of illicit substances on Snapchat, although given Snapchat’s visibility in this sphere and the fact that it is a United States company based in the United States, more people are turning to alternatives such as Signal and Telegram.
Solicitation of minors and other sexual crimes are also occuring on Snapchat, and thus the Federal Bureau of Investigations and other organizations have both a mandate and legal impunity to go after people on these platforms using fake accounts.
While this may seem like entrapment, entrapment is a very specific legal doctrine that won’t allow you to be prosecuted if you wouldn’t otherwise have committed the crime, along with other stipulations.
Police have generally been expanding their social media outreach via platforms like Snapchat, but these are official accounts that are linked to their official pictures and names and are more to connect with a younger generation.
How to Spot Snapchat Bots?
Snapchat bots come in a wide variety of types, including ones that are instantly recognizable to ones that may even pass the Turing test to ones that are indeed run by humans.
The first things to look for are typical bot-like responses to you, such as questions that don’t make sense grammatically or contextually. For example, if an account responds to you with an answer that has nothing to do with what you just said.
Using a beautiful picture of someone, typically a woman, is also a red flag that it could be a bot account.
While we’d all like to think that we have the most beautiful people randomly messaging us just because of how great we are, but if you haven’t met the person in real life or do anything special on Snapchat, then chances are it is a fake account.
Accounts can be verified on Snapchat but this is not a process that you can apply for. Your account needs to meet a few criteria including having a lot of engagement on the platform, appropriate for users and other factors determined by Snapchat.
This means that large celebrity accounts can’t be copied easily, as they won’t have the verified badge. However, this is not a surefire method to tell whether a celebrity account is a bot or not, as they may just not have done enough work on Snapchat to be verified.
Snapchat bots will also have a goal of getting money out of you in some way, so if an account immediately starts asking you to click on links, send money or otherwise give up personal information, you’re likely to be dealing with a bot.
The Snap Score is one of the best indicators of an account, as a Snap Score will go up with account usage. So if it is a very big celebrity but they have a low Snap Score, then unless they are just not using the app much, you should be suspicious.
This goes the same for the Snap Map, as if a celebrity is claiming they are located somewhere but the Snap Map shows they are elsewhere, it’s another reason to suspect it may be a bot.
The Snap Map can be accessed from the Action Bar by tapping on Snap Map, or by tapping on Friends to see any locations shared by your friends.
How Do You Find Out Someone’s Real Name on Snapchat?
If a user has set up an account with their name, you can find it by opening your Snapchat app and tapping Chat at the bottom of the screen. Tap the profile icon at the top left, and it will take you to their complete profile that will have their real name listed.
If not, you can try using the handle the user has on Snapchat to try and find other social media accounts or evidence that could lead you to a name or other identifying information.