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Posted on March 21, 2017 by in Identity & Privacy, Personal

Twitter has been making waves in the social media world for quite a while. In fact, the first tweet was sent 11 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 of 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 these individuals, and then linking to a phishing site (usually with the domain 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.
    • Scams to make money on Twitter. This type of scam can take different forms, but it usually involves claims that you can work from home and make a lot of money or tweet for profit. You’re often asked to provide your credit card to pay a small amount (like $1.95) for shipping your “Twitter Cash Starter Kit.” Once you pay, they have your credit card number and will try to keep making more charges.
    • All types of bot scams. On Twitter, bots are fake accounts (with profile pictures of real people) that are able to 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.