Twitter has been making waves in the social media world for quite a while. In fact, the first tweet was sent 12 years ago on March 21, 2006. Time flies when you’re #HavingFun!
Twitter has made a big impact on how the world communicates, but unfortunately, it’s also provided plenty of opportunities for scam artists and identity thieves to do what they do best. You can try to keep your account as protected as possible by managing your Twitter privacy settings, but even those aren’t going to keep all the cyber criminals away.
Here are some known Twitter scams that you should be looking out for:
- Phishing scams targeting brand managers and influencers who are hoping to secure a blue “verified” badge. Criminals are placing ads to catch the eyes of these individuals, and then linking to a phishing site (usually with the domain twitterhelp.info) that claims to offer account verification. Once on the site, which looks legitimate with Twitter’s color scheme and wording, the person enters a credit card number and their Twitter credentials. Once they submit, their login credentials are now in the hands of the scammer.
- Pay-for-follower bots that boast the ability to get someone thousands of Twitter followers for a fee. Outside of using Twitter’s advertising platform running your own campaigns, paying for followers is a bad idea. There are lots of scam artists looking to take your hard earned money in exchange for a bunch of spammy followers. If you get caught using one of these services, you could be banned from Twitter for helping to distribute spam.
- Cryptocurrency scams. The rise of cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin, Ethereum, Litecoin, and more, has given cybercriminals a new target. In a new Twitter scheme, scammers have begun impersonating tech leaders like Elon Musk, John McAfee, or Ethereum co-founder, Vitalik Buterin. They’ll use their made-up account and tell their followers to send a small amount of cryptocurrency and they’ll send a larger amount back. Of course, they never do.
- All types of bot scams. On Twitter, bots are fake accounts (with profile pictures of real people) that can follow a script if you send them DMs. These bots can take all different forms (though scantily clad women are very popular) and may offer you some sort of “free pass” or other gift. Like many of the scams listed above, you’re directed to a fraudulent site where you’re prompted to enter your credit card and other info.
The good news is that with a little vigilance and common sense, you should be able to avoid becoming the victim of a Twitter scam. Never enter your credit card information on a sketchy-looking website, and if anything sounds too good to be true, it probably is.
If you’d like to bolster your social media security, consider signing up for protection from IdentityForce. In addition to identity protection services, our award-winning Social Media Identity Monitoring (SMIM) Suite tracks your Twitter, Facebook, YouTube, Google+, and Instagram accounts and alerts you to any suspicious activity.