How to find out who's behind a Fake Account? [Complete Guide]

I have already made 5 videos on YouTube on the topic- "How to find the real person behind a fake account?" or in other words- "How to find details of Fake account owner?", out of the five videos I uploaded on YouTube, one was removed by YouTube itself because it violated their "Community Guidelines" (according to them) and rest of the videos were made private by me.

Everyday I receive DMs on Instagram related to this topic from my subscribers, but it is not possible for me to search details for fake account admins or fake account details all day.

But don't worry, in this blog post, I'll guide you through the process of finding the fake account admin details, before continuing further- a quick disclaimer- This blog post is strictly meant for educational purposes, I'll not be held responsible for misuse or any damage caused because of the information I'll provide in this blog post. If someone's bullying, harrasing or blackmailing you on social media, don't hesitate to file a legal complaint - cyberbullying is a crime.


1. Password reset technique

If you want to find the admin details of a fake account, the easies thing you can do is to get the last two digits of the account owner's phone number linked to the fake account.

Finding the last two digits & a first few digits (one or two) of the phone number of a fake account is very simple- just go to the social media site, enter the username & click on "Forget password" option, as soon as you click the forget password option you'll be prompted to a couple of other options, one which says "Send link or OTP to the phone number associated with the account" & another says "Send link or OTP to the email address associated with the account", go ahead with the first option and you'll be able to see the last two digits of the phone number associated with the account. In some social media platforms like Instagram- the phone number appears on the screen for a couple of seconds & then vanishes, so make sure you're ready to capture a screenshot, so that you can read the number later.


Now, you might be thinking what you'll do by finding just the last two digits of the phone number ?

What if I say that you can identify the fake account owner using the last two digits? Confused? let me explain it for you.


If you get the last two digits of the phone number associated with the fake account you can try to match the phone number with that of your contact list, because most of the times, fake accounts are created by friends or near ones, you can easily find out the real person behind the fake account if it matches to anyone present in your contact list.

You can do the same with email.


2. Searching on Social Platforms

Another easy technique to find the real person behind the fake account is to search for the same username in different social media sites, there are people who creates fake accounts on multiple username with same or similar username.


But, it's a hectic task to search for same username in different social media sites manually, don't worry, we have two open-source tools using which you can automate the process of scanning for the same username across 100s of social media sites by just entering the username.

The two tools are Userrecon & Sherlock- you can find out more on how these tools work by clicking here.

To use the tools, you need the following-

* Active Internet Connection

* PC/Laptop/Smartphone

* Google account


Just open your favorite browser & search on Google "Google Cloud Console", then click on the first link you get to see there, after that login with your Google account and click on the "terminal" icon present on the top right corner of the page.


Google Cloud Console Terminal
Google Cloud Console Terminal

Now you have opened the terminal on your browser, type in the commands below to install & use the tool userrecon-


apt update && upgrade 
pkg update 
pkg install git 
git clone https://github.com/issamelferkh/userrecon 
cd userrecon 
ls 
chmod +x userrecon 
bash userecon.sh

If you're using Google Cloud Console terminal, you can start from the fourth command.

Then enter the username and the tool will scan all popular social media site for a profile with the same username and will list the matches found with links to the profile.


You can do the same thing with the tool Sherlock, but the installation process is a bit different and also this tool is preferred by professionals, type in the commands below to install and use Sherlock tool in Google Cloud Console terminal-


# clone the repo
$ git clone https://github.com/sherlock-project/sherlock.git

# change the working directory to sherlock
$ cd sherlock

# install the requirements
$ python3 -m pip install -r requirements.txt

3. OSINTGRAM

Osintgram is a OSINT (Open Source Intelligence Tool) to gather and analyze publicly available info and present it.

What does Osintgram offer-

- addrs Get all registered addressed by target photos

- captions Get user's photos captions

- comments Get total comments of target's posts

- followers Get target followers

- followings Get users followed by target

- fwersemail Get email of target followers

- fwingsemail Get email of users followed by target

- fwersnumber Get phone number of target followers

- fwingsnumber Get phone number of users followed by target

- hashtags Get hashtags used by target

- info Get target info

- likes Get total likes of target's posts

- mediatype Get user's posts type (photo or video)

- photodes Get description of target's photos

- photos Download user's photos in output folder

- propic Download user's profile picture

- stories Download user's stories

- tagged Get list of users tagged by target

- wcommented Get a list of user who commented target's photos

- wtagged Get a list of user who tagged target


You can install and use the tool on Kali Linux machine, you can't use the tool on Google Cloud Console terminal, you'll need a dedicated Linux Machine to install and use this tool. You'll also need to create a fake Instagram account for analyzing and to gather info- this tool only works on Instagram accounts.

Use the commands listed below to install and use the tool Osintgram-


git clone https://github.com/Datalux/Osintgram 
ls
cd Osintgram
sudo apt install python3
sudo apt install python3-pip
pip3 install -r requirements.txt
mkdir config
cd config
echo "username" >username.conf
echo "password" > pw.conf
echo "{ }" > settings.json
ls
cd ..
ls
python3 main.py targetusername
list

Let me explain the commands for you all-

git clone url - to clone the repository

ls - to see the files in the present directory

cd Osintgram- to go to the specified directory, the next two commands are to install python3 & pip, then we'll install the requirements from requirements.txt file, then we'll create a directory named config using the command "mkdir config", but after the latest update, the config directory is already present, so in that case just open the config directory and then replace the username in the "username.conf" file with your present account username and the password in your "password.conf" file. Then execute the commands to use the tool.


4. Find Phone Number Information

Find identifying information from phone number using the open-source intelligence tool PhoneInfoga.

Here's how to use the tool-


docker run -it sundowndev/phoneinfoga scan -n 9832385292
docker run -it -p 8080:8080 sundowndev/phoneinfoga serve -p 8080

The first command is to get results in the command line interface and the second command is to search for information for a given number in web interface. Note- the phone number used in the first command after the parameter -n is an imaginary number.


PhoneInfoga Tool Demo
PhoneInfoga Tool Demo

PhoneInfoga Web Interface
PhoneInfoga Web Interface


5. Complaint against Fake Accounts

You must file a complaint against fake accounts if they're involved in bullying, harassments and blackmailing.

Here's how to file a Cybercrime complaint in India (Online)-


Watch the above embedded video until the end and understand the procedure. Also make sure you like and share this video and subscribe to the YouTube channel for regular updates and tutorials related to Tech & Cybersecurity. To read articles on Tech and Cybersecurity, written tutorials, click on the three vertical dots icon present on the top left side of your Chrome browser and then click on "Add to Home".


6. Profil3r

Profil3r is an OSINT (Open Source Intelligence Tool) to search for publicly available information on any person on the internet. You can find social media profiles & email addresses of a person by just entering the target's name & not only that you can find other info like domains, and if his/her emails were leaked in any data breach, do they have any account on any forums, community websites, music services, chatting services and even on porn sites.

And you can read the report generated by the tool in CSV, JSON & also in HTML format, I'll upload a tutorial soon on YouTube.

Here's how you can install and use the tool in Google Cloud Console Terminal-

pip3 install PyInquirer jinja2 bs4
git clone https://github.com/Rog3rSm1th/Profil3r.git
cd Profil3r/
sudo python3 setup.py install

Profil3r Demo
Profil3r Demo

I'll keep updating this blog post with more tricks, tutorials, techniques and videos. Till then bookmark this page and follow me on Instagram- @anu_ghosh111

And here's a video on "Find the Real Person Behind a Fake Account"-


Thanks for reading, comment down your views & queries. Have a nice day!