How to Detect And Avoid Scams on Twitter - Sundiata Tech

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Tuesday, August 15, 2017

How to Detect And Avoid Scams on Twitter

The growing popularity of Twitter and the numerous revenue-generating opportunities it offers to users has seen scammers and other con artists come up with unscrupulous means to compromise the accounts of unsuspecting users and/or swindle them of their hard-earned money.

How to detect and avoid scams on Twitter

In this piece, the Research and Development Unit of Yudala, Nigeria’s fastest growing composite e-commerce sheds some light on the most common Twitter scams to avoid.

-Pay-for-new-followers scam: In addition to individuals caught in the vanity trap of acquiring more followers to shore up their social media image, a number of corporate organisations have also fallen prey to this particular scam.

In most cases, the perpetrators of this phoney scheme succeed in tricking the user to sign up for a service that is guaranteed to deliver loads of new followers for a fee. Victims of this scam are often won over by the bogus promises of the scammers who claim to possess databases of millions of Twitter users with the right interests who can be targeted and converted to new followers by the subscriber.

-Work-from-home schemes: With the growing popularity of the micro-blogging service, a number of new revenue-generating streams have emerged on Twitter. Users who have managed to organically build up a huge follower base have risen to the status of influencers, often patronised by brands and other advertisers to endorse their products with targeted tweets often for an agreed fee.

Riding on this, a very common Twitter scam, offering users the opportunity to make money from home by tweeting about other people’s products, has also become popular.

Research shows that most gullible victims are often asked to part with some money as sign-up fee to get a starter kit for the service. This involves parting with a credit card number which the fraudsters keep charging a hidden membership fee from on a monthly basis.

-Twitter phishing scam: Phishing refers to the activity of tricking people by getting them to give their identity, bank account numbers and other sensitive information over the Internet or by email and then using these to steal money from them.

Ever come across a link on Twitter which re-directs you to a legitimate-looking site that requires you to supply personal information? You may just be about to become a victim of one of the most sophisticated Twitter phishing scams. By forging emails from legitimate sites such as banks, e-commerce sites, airline companies, educational institutions, etc., phishing scammers lure users into disclosing personal details such as name, credit card details, password, among others.

-Fake Direct Messages (DMs): Direct messages are communications or posts sent privately to another Twitter user while signed on to the platform. Scammers have been known to rely on sending fake DMs as a means of gaining access to or compromising the accounts of other users.

This occurs when scammers use a hijacked account to send out seemingly innocuous direct messages. In most reported cases, the messages include links which re-direct users to fake login pages requiring the supply of credentials or login details.

Once a user falls victim and provides the required details, the compromised account is taken over by the scammer who can then use it for a number of nefarious purposes.

-Twitter viruses and spyware: This is another less popular means of hijacking the accounts of Twitter users. In most cases, the scam originates from tempting messages or erotic pictures sent by faceless accounts followed by a link. Once a user clicks on the link, it immediately re-directs to a site from which malicious software is uploaded onto your computer or device. Businessday.

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