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Fake posts are popping up on Delano group pages but it's easy to find the facts

There's been an increase in fake posts and accounts that have been popping up on Delano Facebook group pages. With 4% of monthly active users reported to be fake, Delano P.D. is looking into it.
Posted at 6:36 PM, Jun 10, 2024

DELANO, Calif. (KERO) — Delano P.D. has confirmed to seeing an increase in fake accounts popping up on Delano Facebook group pages. Being hard to track down, there are tips you can follow to find the truth yourself.

  • An increase in the number of fake social media accounts has caught the attention of law enforcement, including the Delano Police Department.
  • Posts typically range from fake rental listings to possible theft or missing people.
  • According to Facebook Meta, fake accounts represent roughly 4% of worldwide monthly active users on Facebook during the first quarter of 2024.

From finding lost pets, to missing people, social media can be a powerful tool when it comes to spreading information, however, if used incorrectly, it can be malicious.

An increase in the number of fake social media accounts has caught the attention of law enforcement, including the Delano Police Department.

Delano Neighborhood Reporter Ruby Rivera interviewing Delano Police Chief Jerry Nicholson about the fake social media posts
Delano Neighborhood Reporter Ruby Rivera interviewing Delano Police Chief Jerry Nicholson about the fake social media posts

“On Mother's Day we had a post of a young child that was injured in and around his face and the post said that the child was lost, and the parents were nowhere to be found,” said Chief Jerry Nicholson.

Chief Nicholson says although the department was able to determine that this post was fake, it was only after the post had been shared hundreds of times.

It depicts a child who seemed to be hurt and lost somewhere in Delano, unable to locate the parents.

It was shared on the Delano Car Deals Facebook Page but Chief Nicholson says not only was this false, it isn’t the only post they’ve had a circle around

“Most of these posts, if not all of these posts, that were factitious popped up on other law enforcement agency social media pages so we can quickly verify,” said Chief Nicholson.

Here’s an example of an alleged missing child in Delano that was posted in the same Facebook group — later confirmed that it did not originate in Delano.

Chief Nicholson says they’re able to verify the validity of most of these posts rather quickly because of a shared central database with other departments.

For most people scrolling through social media you can be overwhelmed by fake posts… but did you know you can determine whether it’s real or fake with just a couple of clicks.

Simply go onto google and tap the photo search icon, then paste the photo that you’re wanting verification on and look through the given results.

“The post in California came from a Pasadena, Texas Police Department Facebook Post initially,” said Sergeant Devin Franklund with the Pasadena, Texas Police Department.

Sargent Franklund talked to me via Zoom, saying the post was from 2023. The child was found and reunited with their family the same day.

“It looks like somebody has reused that photo now on a post in California that has no association with us whatsoever,” said Sargent Franklund.

Using the same method that helped me pinpoint the validity of that post — I was able to get in touch with the woman whose photo was being used.

Respecting her privacy, the woman told me via email that this wasn’t the first time something like this had occurred, writing quote…

“I’ve had multiple accounts take my photos and use them as their profile picture and I’ve had people take my photos and use them for their own sales of products that I’ve never even bought, and Facebook won’t do anything about me reporting them.”

According to Facebook Meta, fake accounts represent roughly 4% of worldwide monthly active users on Facebook during the first quarter of 2024.

Within that same quarter, Facebook Meta took action on 631 million fake accounts.

Out of those accounts, data shows Facebook found 99.4% of those accounts on their own, with the public only reporting 0.6% of fake accounts.

When it comes to information involving Delano P.D., Chief Nicholson says verification is just one phone call away.

“If it has any information about what the police department is doing and it’s not on the Delano Police Department social media platforms, most of the time it’s not true,” said Chief Nicholson.

If you suspect an account is fake, click here.


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