The first idea, to avoid a trouble, is so often to appeal to those who are able to help. This is even more so, when the task needs expert judgment (a seasoned seniority). But, in cases, it may be even catastrophical, when the people may expect "experts" to do everything, even when a particular (so-called) "expert," may be only a charlatan.
A few rules-of-thumb are:
Legitimacy is the right-to-do. The opposite of it, the "me-too" people, want to be granted the right about everything, even when they never qualify. The basic symptom may be those "me too" whinings, which may so often lead to exclusive-claims, too. If every right were to be considered negotiable, the aggressive, super-grabbers, may only want to enlarge their shares. e.g: Property ownership, human rights, and even your spirit. The "me too" people may leave no privacy, no personal rights. Even "human rights" might turn into a tool to oppress people - through lieful slogans.
I offer a world-view, for this. Do not let your own to any unverifiable "authority," if it is feasible to do it, with public accountability.
e.g: If to help the needy, or to build mosques, or schools, or a railroad, or an arm, we are never slaves to the whims of some central authorities.
e.g: The way your company has an accountant, and/or a purchasing-officer, it may employ zekat-distribution officers, too. This is a very fine idea, both for your other-worldly rewards, and even in this world, as it avoids the corruption in your society, and lets finance your needs the right way.
On the page about techno-witchcraft, I referred to the heightened need to verify the integrity of our thoughts, to avoid breachers - as technology advances. It is both good, and bad news. It is bad news because, attacks at your mental-privacy, is very easy. The good thing is that, with that technology, to fight against breachers, we do not need any extra people. Our own family, or friends may help to authenticate our thoughts. Previously, when there was an attack, maybe through genies, we would need experts to deal with it. (But we may pray, too.)
An impersonator (charlatan) is a claimant to some dominant positions, without any legitimate license to sit at that seat. Such abuse-attempts (the junk supply) by some self-important types, may be probably unavoidable, as long as people show a bias to such knee-jerk appeals (the demand), to save them - even when the unquestioning subservience, is not a religious necessity, at all.
But how may we verify who is a real expert? A few rules-of-thumb are:
Even when a field may take immense depth to filter out the bad, the probability is high, that there are well-known people, who raise their own, certified, disciples. Do verify such referred certificates (from their sources - whether written, or oral), and do verify that the certified person does follow the standards of conduct, as he/she was expected. These two rules-of-thumb, may let avoid a lot of charlatans.
The muslim-religious paths (tariqat), are very well-known examples of master-and-student orders. A tariqat is not about a throne. It is only a quality-establishment system, to authorize qualified people, generation after generation. A sheikh (a senior) may authorize a person as a sheikh. He/she may also offer some people to subscribe to another sheikh - whether or not that other sheikh was his/her student. These are the ages old sources of legitimacy, for a sheikh. There are no others.
Withour a legitimate-authorization (by a sheikh of that tariqat/order), even the biological descendents of a (real) sheikh, would only be considered as the charlatan-sheikh(s), in case of any claim to "inherit" the "sheikh" title, as if that were a throne.
Furthermore, if there is even an attempt to own the exact seat/post of a particular sheikh, to herd-his-followers, as it is referred to, then that sheikh must have authorized him as a heir, too. Otherwise, such claims of a "throne" would be only illegitimate, in its attempt to use the name of the dead, in a way he avoided in his life-time. Period.
e.g: Since about 25 years, there are no (real) Zilan sheikhs. Avoid charlatans. Zilans were a line of Islamic sheikhs, too. Currently, there is no one we accept as a Zilan sheikh, at all. Be warned against any abuses, and against any false status claims. Sometimes I hear from witnesses telling essentially what could be in the league of horror stories, both in the name of humanity as well as Islam. (The abusive person(s) being from among the Zilan-clan, in general. Not with the Zilan surname (most probably).) In general, please do not let anyone abuse you. e.g: Especially, avoid doing any suggested absurdness, which does not make sense either Islamically, or even by plain common sense.
A good-reputation is not a cheap-thing. It takes an effort, for a life-time, and even by the forefathers, or other licensing-masters.
certainly, please never let an abuse be in my name, for sure: Not a "relative," not a "friend," not even an impostor that may look exactly like me. You have the criteria for myself: Clear, reasonable, Islamic, NOT-money-collecting, etc. What would you need further against such abuses? I have always felt sorry for respectable names when, sometimes, either in the person's lifetime or after the death, some abusive people claim to be his/her followers, to "represent" him/her. Here, I am warning on behalf of myself, and also on behalf of those who respect me (already, or eventually, as my works unfold). If you witness such a case, please inform me. Let's build the building the right way.
People may exaggerate a trust, too. To obey/do whatever the trusted orders/does, may lead people to wrong, too. Whether because
We know it. Allah had informed. Some people do take the words of their seniors, instead of the God. That may be because they think only those priests may talk about religion, even when the text clearly objects to what the priests may command. Or else, they may believe in some queer ideology of "progress" where anything "old" may get dumped, to install something "new" - and tyrannical. In short, people may be terrorized not to object to the tyrannical-and-corrupt kings, police, courts, etc. - even when the wrongdoings may be crystal clear. Such "silent" people may consider themselves "with a faith," but obviously, they believe "the God" as a "past," in times of yore. Instead, they obey the local "god"s.
Even the religious texts, and laws, may be interpreted in impossible ways, to let the tyranny-and/or-corruption, assert some fake-legitimacy.
A (muslim) sheikhdom, is a master-student order. A sheikh (a senior), is raised by a sheikh. Without that, it is only the charlatan's claim to appear as "a sheikh." And next, what would such an illegitimate position-grabber, not do? It is news.
Similarly, to claim being a heir of a particular sheikh, would mean that, that former sheikh had authorized that latter sheikh, to guide the followers of that former sheikh, after him/her. If no such permission exists, then it is again liefulness, and it is the charlatan's sign, too.
Although for muslims, there are no restrictions to found new schools of thought, the charlatan(s) may want to grab/steal the established popularity.
That sort of trouble, is not only with muslims. Problems with corrupt-priests have been known to the christians, too. Even when the priest is a legally appointed one, the conduct can get wrong.
An illegitimate-sheikh may conspire with genies to make people "need" his help. e.g: a witch-being is no other than an ordinary-bully, although he/she may also attempt to abuse people with a lieful-"helpfulness" - to get your subservience, and/or money.
A tyrannical-and/or-corrupt state may allocate/employ agent-provocateurs to provoke terrorism/anarchy which means ordinary, innocent citizens may be hurt, so that there is an "urgent need" to set up a (brutal) state-monster. It is the "me-too" attitude, to provoke and/or attack others to grab their resources.