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Fake social media profiles in Switzerland

Among those whose page was copied by the intruders, one can name the deputy of the National Council Christian Luscher and the editor-in-chief of the radio service of the RTS television and radio company Laurent Caspari. The creators of the fake pages worked hard so that without careful study their creation could not be distinguished from the originals, including copied some of the publications of the aforementioned persons, informs RTS.

Fraudsters pursue different goals, but above all they seek to extract financial benefits or advertise goods, sometimes want to damage the reputation of celebrities. Interestingly, impersonating someone else on social media is not yet a criminal offense. For such an act to become punishable, it must be accompanied by hacking of someone else’s page, theft of data, copyright infringement or defamation. Most often, fake profiles can be deleted due to the use of someone else’s photos, which are protected by copyright.

The good news is that in 2022, the task of Internet impostors in Switzerland will become much more difficult, as changes to the Penal Code will come into force, according to which the use of another person’s personal data when opening an account on Twitter, Instagram or other sites will become criminally punishable. However, already today, a victim of the actions of deceivers can publicly declare that “his” new page is a fake, but the situation becomes more complicated if such a person does not have a profile on a particular social network. One of the fans of the Swiss national football team found himself in this position: his face was remembered by many Internet users after the victory of the Confederation over France in the 1/8 finals of the European Championship 2020. Without the knowledge of the young man, he had an Instagram page, which was subscribed to by more than 10 thousand people. Two images of the fan contributed to the success: on one he was about to cry, on the second – screaming furiously, taking off his T-shirt. The impostors who created the profile triedTry to sell bitcoins to subscribers.

To restore justice, Luka Lautenbach, who unwittingly became famous, started an Instagram page himself, but as soon as he posted a photo or video, scammers copied them into his fake profile. The latter was recently deactivated, but there are many more similar “dummies” on social networks. Luka Lautenbach consulted with a lawyer who will contact the administrations of social networks and ask them to publish a demand for the attackers to stop their activities. When creating a page in many social networks, there is a warning that a new user should not impersonate another person, but in case of violation, the victim must prove his case, contact the administration, send a copy of his passport. All of this takes time and money if the wishing to achieve justice hires a lawyer.

Let us add that, in Luka’s place, many would have decided that they were lucky: the fake page was closed, and he gained fame for free – such that football fans recognize him in different countries, and the media interview him. For those who managed to gather a relatively large army of subscribers, experts advise to periodically check if there are any “their” pages on the Internet that they do not know about in order to react in time. How can you tell a fake account from a real one if you want to follow the news of a celebrity you are interested in? First of all, you need to pay attention to the photo. On “fake” pages, the pictures are often published on the same day, in addition, fraudsters often limit themselves to several photos taken in one place.

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If you are too lazy to pay attention to these details, then it is worth remembering that articles about celebrities published on sites such as Wikipedia, IMDB, etc., provide links to official profiles on social networks.