How the scam works:
If you are an avid Twitter user, you might have noticed a blue check mark beside certain usernames. The check mark means those accounts are ‘verified’, basically confirming the people behind those usernames are the real celebrities tweeting (actors, singers, athletes, journalists, businessmen, etc). According to Twitter’s Help Centre, verification is ‘used to establish authenticity of identities of key individuals and brands on Twitter’. Verified accounts also have access to extra features.
That being said, it’s obvious that having a verified account looks good for your business, as it’s an official validation of your brand. Needless to say, many people would like to have the check mark attached to their names, whether is for vanity purposes or not. For that reason alone, scammers are making an easy buck nowadays by sending mass emails and advertising a $20 offer to get you a blue check mark on your profile within one day.
How does that work? They’ll require your credentials (username, password) and then log into your account. They’ll take your header photo (the background image of your profile), open it in Photoshop, and paste a blue check mark by aligning it exactly where your username ends. Then they re-upload the picture on your profile and…it’s done!
Little do you know that when you’ll change your background image there won’t be any blue check mark beside your name anymore.
How to avoid:
Never buy your status, likes, or followers. Twitter does the verifying process by itself in an organic way. Not only you will lose $20, but you will also be at risk of having your account banned forever.
If you are interested in having your account verified, here is what Twitter Help Centre has to say: “Twitter verifies accounts on an ongoing basis to make it easier for users to find who they’re looking for. We concentrate on highly sought users in music, acting, fashion, government, politics, religion, journalism, media, sports, business, and other key interest areas. We are constantly updating our requirements for verification. Note, verification does not factor in follower count or Tweet count. We do not accept requests for verification from the general public. If you fall under one of the above categories and your Twitter account meets our qualifications for verification, we may reach out to you in the future.”
On the other hand, if you are in a situation where you want to know if an account is verified, hover the mouse over the blue check mark. If it’s a verified account, a small note will pop-up confirming the authenticity of it.
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