What logic do you follow when deciding to accept or deny a Facebook friend request?

Originally answered May 9, 2017

Here is what I do:

  1. Am I already friends with this person? If so, this is an impostor, and I report it as such to Facebook, and delete the request. See below for details.
  2. Is this someone I know? If so, unless I have a reason not to, I accept.
  3. If I don’t know the person, does this person have something important in common with me? If so, I may accept. If not, I decline.

Impostor Profiles

If you receive friend requests from familiar people, with familiar profile photos, don’t assume that these requests are legitimate. Some of your friends may have already accepted an impostor’s friend request, so don’t let that mislead you.

Questions to ask yourself before accepting a new friend request:

  1. Aren’t most people I know already on Facebook?
  2. Why is this request being made to me now?
  3. Aren’t we already friends?

If you visit the profile of the person making the friend request, there may be a few copied photos. But there won’t be much else there.

Search to see if you and that person are already friends. If so, you can report the impostor.

Note: an impostor Facebook account does not mean that your Facebook account was compromised or hacked. Rather, it means that someone has copied the name, photo, a few key pieces of information, and the friend list from an existing account, and created a second account with that data. It’s usually an example of phishing, not of unauthorized access to your account.