Today, one of the big fake Harry Styles accounts was FINALLY closed down. I had talked about this previously in one of my videos about how this account had made audio files to "prove" he was Harry (but was not) and how people were believing him. Well, I went on a rampage on Twitter today after I found out minors had been sending nudes to this account. I DM'd Harry and his mom, Anne, because I was worried a man was trying to prey on young teens. Several men have already been arrested for pretending to be Harry and getting minors to perform sex acts on webcam or send nudes.
Whether it was my actions or someone else that got her attention, Harry's sister, Gemma, tweeted about the account being fake and it was suspended shortly after that. Sadly, this account and others had been up for awhile and fans had even given risque pictures and money to this fake account. It usually takes getting the attention of the celebrity or someone in their circle to debunk these fake accounts and that can take time. People need to be skeptical on the internet so they don't get tricked by these fake accounts and you are never to young to learn. So, what can you do to identify fake accounts?
Only Trust Accounts Linked From Known Verified Accounts
This is the most basic rule - only trust accounts linked from known verified accounts. If Real Harry posts a link to his Instagram on his known real verified Twitter (@harry_styles), then you can trust that Instagram account is his account. In all these fake accounts, NONE of them have ever been linked to the real celebrity accounts.
A Fake Account Won't Post Faces
Fake accounts obviously can't post pictures (since then you'd see they were fake) so they try to trick you other ways. They will post a pair of legs wearing something similar to what the celeb would wear or a pic of something that the celeb might own (like a fancy scented candle). These techniques are trying to convince you they are real (since they can't show you their face). This recent fake Harry account posted videos, but they were audio only - a red flag that it was a man faking Harry's voice.
A Fake Account Will Use Pics Available in the Public (But May Try To Make Them Seem New)
One way fake accounts try to convince you they are real (since they can't take their own pics) is to use rare pics that may seem "new" to people or they will take video screencaps to try and make them seem legit. This one can be hard to prove unless you are super knowledgeable of the rare pics or videos, but usually if you ask around, someone will have seen the pic or will recognize the video still. You can try to find the pic by doing a google image search - go to google.com/images and drop the picture into the search bar. If the pic is all over the internet, it's just the faker using an old pic.
Sweat the Small Stuff
Check for details that don't make sense. The Fake Harry account said Niall was going to be at the Grammys. He wasn't. The Fake Harry posted a pic where Real Harry's tattoos should have been visible. They weren't. Fakers often post at odd hours or in the wrong time zone for the "real" person. Details like this add up to one big fake!
Fake Accounts Often Use a Network of Other Fake Accounts to Legitimize Each Other
A common technique fakers use is to create a network of other fake accounts. They all talk to each other and if you believe one, then you ended up believing all of them because they'll interact with each other. Ask yourself why these celebrities would need these separate accounts to chat with each other when they already do that on their REAL accounts.
The Fake Account Will Act Differently Than the Celeb's Known Behavior
Sometimes fans want to believe this "alternate reality" where the celebrities interact more than or in a different way than they do in real life. There is a Louis fake that tweets a fake Briana. They interact whereas the Real Louis doesn't tweet the Real Briana. In this alternate world, Louis and Briana are happily tweeting each other and some fans enjoy that. There used to be Fake Harry and Fake Louis accounts on tumblr that would interact with each other. Sadly, this faker had made one of them abusive and the other one a cutter. People would get so mad at the "abuser" and worried for the "cutter" and I often worried that fans were thinking horrible things about real live people who weren't doing this in real life. One thing that really disgusted me was all the fake "Tomlinson/Deakin" accounts, which were "mourning" Jay's death and toying with fans emotions at a time when the real Tomlinson/Deakins were dealing with a PRIVATE personal family tragedy. These fake accounts used this sad event to get followers and fans wanted to believe it because they wanted that connection with the family at a time when fans were so sad for Louis and his family.
A Fake Account Will Often Claim Their Account is the Private One Even If It's Open to the Public
These fake accounts always claim these are their "private" accounts where they can be "real" yet these accounts are almost always open to the public! That makes no sense! Often, celebrities social media accounts are run, in part, by their team. They aren't going to have ANOTHER account that's free to do whatever it wants and it isn't "private" if it's a public account! That's the whole reason the celebrity's team has access to their account in the first place! Some fakers will make their accounts "private" and you'll have to be added, but again, realize that celebrities are busy people. They don't have time to be chatting all day with fans and approving friend requests and accepting follows for a "private" account. A lot of the fakers, especially on tumblr try act like the celebrities, using similar wording or picture style. There's a lot of "fake deep" pretend Harry accounts that come close by not being over the top, but ultimately they all fuck up somehow. The devil is in the details.
A Fake Account Will Try to Contact Fans on Things Like Kik, Facetime, etc.
This recent fake Harry account was Facetiming with fans and even got fans to give him money (the fans would somehow buy presents and the fake Harry would receive coins (bitcoins?) in return). Fake accounts have skyped and kik'd and all sorts of things with fans. Real celebrities like Harry are not going to be doing this unless it's arranged in advance by their team (i.e., via Make A Wish or contest winners). Again, celebrities are busy. As much as you want to believe that they are taking the time to talk to you personally, you are one of millions of fans. While that sounds great to fans, be realistic and realize the celebrity can't and won't do that with fans unless it's an official thing.
A Fake Account Will Want Something From You
Real celebrities just want you to be their fans. They want you to buy their songs or watch their movies and just enjoy what they have created. They have money. They don't need you to send them money or buy something that somehow gives them internet coins. They definitely won't be asking you for nudes (or you'll see them exposed in TMZ someday!). Ask yourself why "Harry" would need money or why a 23 year old man would want to risk his career by messing around with minors.
A Fake Account May Try to Guilt Fans When Called Out
Fake accounts usually do get called about by savvy fans, but they often try to guilt their "fans" into believing they are being falsely accused. They may throw a tantrum and say things like "People keep doubting me, it makes me want to delete." Obviously, the fans who have been interacting with "Harry" will be afraid of losing that connection and they may try to fight against people who are trying to call out the fake. This happened to me today when I called out the fake Harry. A fan came at me for not believing it was Harry. A real celebrity will never do that since they can easily prove they are who they say they are.
I understand that fans are so desperate for that connection with a celebrity that they will believe these fakes, but for your own safety, you need to be skeptical. You need to be safe and watch out for yourself on the Internet. You are never too young to start learning how to spot lies and how to spot fakes.
And, please don't send nudes to anyone. Celebrities don't want nudes, especially from minors (it's a crime!), and if the person you are sending it to is a fake, you have no idea how your picture may be used. Once it's out there, they could post it on p*rn sites or use it to blackmail you (which actually did happen to one Harry fan who thought she was talking to "Harry". He blackmailed her into performing sex acts on camera for him. The man was 45 years old).
It's great to be a fan. Just don't be so desperate to "meet" your fave that you miss the warning signs and red flags of a fake account. Your fave celebs want you to be safe so you are around to enjoy their music!