Beware of Twitter Scams

Anyone who has spent even a minimal amount of time on the Internet has learned that cyberspace is home to a plague of scams designed to extract money from unsuspecting victims, collect and use private information, and even seize control of their computers through malicious hacks.

Social networking site Twitter is not immune to scammer’s; in fact, the rate in which Twitter scams are being discovered and reported is growing steadily as more sophisticated criminals try their hand at Twitter scams.

Many of the Twitter scams are just slight variations of phishing scams: you receive an email that appears as though it is sent by Twitter or by a Twitter user. The email either mentions that there is a problem with your account, or, if pretending to be from a Twitter user, displays as a direct message asking you to log into Twitter to view a posted picture or some other item or message of interest. In both scenarios, the key factor is that you are being enticed to click the link provided in the email to log into Twitter.

However, this is in fact a classic phishing scam. The link does not actually go to Twitter, even though the page you land on might look like Twitter. It is in fact a cleverly designed copycat site that will capture your username and password when you attempt to log in.

A somewhat inventive Twitter scam utilized Twitter itself to gather usernames and security question answers from users. Dubbed the “Twitter porn name scam”, this hashtag trend invited users to create a funny porn name for themselves by adding their answers to common security questions to their username. Once this was tweeted, the Twitter scammer now possessed the usernames and security question answers to many accounts. Because Internet users often use the same info for various accounts, scammers could often hack into users email accounts with a few tries, and possibly even a bank account.

Another Twitter scam sends a message to Twitter users that tries to convince them that they have just won a free cell phone, and provides a link to claim their prize. Clicking the link sends users to a website where they need to fill out their current cell phone number and a few minor details. The scam then succeeds in enrolling the user in a subscription text service of one kind or another.

These are just a few of the Twitter scams populating the social networking site; some are still being used, and new ones appear regularly. It is important to always remember never to give anyone personal information without being able to accurately verify who they are, and always type the Twitter web address into a browser yourself in order to login, rather than using links provided in emails.

For more information on Twitter and Social Networking, call us at 1-800-978-3417 or Contact Active Web Group and let us help you!

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