Phone numbers unique identity
While having an online identity has certain strengths in providing easy communication by minimizing the need for a physical presence, the nature of online identities also has its flaws.
The existence of a temporary virtual wall before one meets face-to- face also makes it easy to engage in fraud and spam online. People can be duped into wiring large sums of money online to a “friend” or “lover” with whom they’ve only virtually communicated with.
Most recently, a woman claimed to have wired $1.4 million to her online lover, whom she’d never met before.
Email is a popular and relatively traditional form of online identity, but they are very easy to fake since there are no identity verification processes required before creating a free email account with popular services like Gmail, Yahoo or Outlook. It is also fairly easy to create email accounts in bulk for spamming purposes.
A single user is able to create hundreds of free email accounts in a short span of time. These can then be used to verify multiple accounts in social applications which are used for spam or fraud.
Dodgy marketing campaigns using fake user accounts can also disrupt the user experience on an app or social network. During SXSW 2015, Ex Machina created afake profile on Tinder with a bot, using a picture of the film’s Swedish star to promote the movie to other Tinder users that messaged the fake profile.
Image Source:samantha celera