At CEL Solicitors we are no strangers to the workings of fraudsters and scammers. We have helped thousands of victims to get their money back following fraud and scams.
Because of this, we know it is especially important to be cautious when communicating online with a law firm or other legal services.
We are aware of several instances of criminals impersonating CEL Solicitors by setting up fake social media profiles with the sole purpose of misleading and swindling those who are already vulnerable and looking for legal support.
If you have been contacted by a social media account claiming to offer a service – legal or commercial – always look for tell-tale signs that the account is not genuine.
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How to Spot a Fake Social Media Profile
Consult their website
One of the best ways of confirming that the company profile you are communicating with is genuine is to visit their website and look for the social media platforms listed.
In the case of CEL Solicitors, you can visit our website and head to the bottom of our page (also known as the Footer) for a list of our official social media accounts. We use Facebook, Twitter/X, YouTube, LinkedIn, TikTok and Instagram. If you believe that you are in contact with a fake CEL Solicitors social media account, please stop all contact and use one of our legitimate channels. You can find these at the bottom of all our web pages.
Look at their follower count
One fairly reliable way to find out whether a business’s social media profile is genuine or not is to look at its follower count.
We can’t all be @cocacola with 2.9 million followers, or @nike with 305 million followers, however, most business social media profiles should have a reasonable number of followers.
Some fake social media accounts use fake followers to pad out their account to make it appear more legitimate. A good way to spot an inflated follower count is to look at the number of people the fake profile is following, vs. the number of followers. A legitimate account like @kfc may only be following 11 people (5 Spice Girls and 6 men named Herb), but a fake profile will likely be following many many more, often in an “I follow you, you follow me” scheme.
Look for the “Verified” badge
This was much easier to do before Elon Musk bought Twitter, however, some platforms still offer verified badges to legitimate companies.
Not all legitimate companies have been granted verification status – CEL Solicitors are currently unverified on our social media channels – however you can use this as an initial indicator in the even there are multiple accounts claiming to be the same person/company. If you are looking for one of the legitimate CEL Solicitors’ social media accounts, you can find these in the footer of all our web pages.
This isn’t a foolproof way of ensuring the business profile you are looking at is legitimate, however, it can be a good place to start – especially if there are two or more profiles with the same name, yet only one is verified!
Check their other social media accounts
A quick and safe way of confirming the social media profile you are corresponding with is legitimate and not fake is to look at other social media accounts held by the company. If you are speaking with a company on Facebook, you may be able to find their official Twitter/X account and look for a link shared directing to their official Facebook profile.
Fallen Victim to a Fraudster?
Remember, scammers and fraudsters are smart and ruthless – this is how they’re able to keep deceiving people without getting caught. You should never feel ashamed or embarrassed if you have fallen victim to a scam.
If you have lost money to an impersonation scam, you are not alone. We have helped countless people recover their money after scammers have made off with their hard-earned savings.