How the scam works:
Yesterday, Twitter turned 10 years old and most of us have been thankful for a service that made us communicate faster and shorter, even within 140 characters. While some of us are still learning the tricks of the giant media platform and others are making a living out of it, Twitter has revolutionized the way media is covering stories.
However, with its popularity came along the scammers, who banked on the naivety of those who believe prizes and free stuff come just as often and easy as the daily news stories. In this article we’ll take a look at how the latest scam works, as well as learn how to easily identify if the profile contacting you on Twitter or Facebook is fake or real. Let’s do that first.
Watch the video below to learn how to identify fast and easy if a profile you’ve been in contact with on Twitter or Facebook is real or fake.
This works the best if the profile picture is an actual face of a person. The software presented in the video recognizes where else that image has been used. If you’re in a correspondence with someone on social media who has a tempting offer that looks too good to be true (whether it’s about winning a prize or online dating), run the image test. You’ll be thankful.
Now let’s go back to the Twitter’s 10 year anniversary trap.
In the newest scam this week, criminals are contacting thousands of people at once (by tagging them) and claim to be Twitter representatives. They inform the users about some great news, which are something along these lines: “To celebrate our 10th anniversary today, we give away 100 iPads to 100 lucky people! [your Twitter handle] was selected. Claim here [link]”. They provide a link to a contest-looking like page, where the victim is invited to provide credentials for his identity.
If the “winner” responds back, the scammer takes the conversation away from Twitter to email, where he could ask for more personal information. Needless to say, once you provided all they need in order to receive the iPad, the conversation just ends with no way back.
The images and pages created and used by scammers are extremely similar to the Twitter real branding style. That included even the text from the nice email Twitter sent this morning to all its users to say “Thank You” (see image at the top of this page).The rest is just stock footage that crooks steal off the Internet and adjust it to their needs.
How to avoid:
Ignore the random prizes coming your way on social media. Trust us. The scam about winning free stuff on Twitter and Facebook is so 2010. There is no company that gives away random electronics without making a marketing campaign out of it. And simply giving them for free is not a smart move.
Let’s end on a light note and say “Happy anniversary” to Twitter! Also, since you’re still here ancd reading this, here are some interesting “10 Years With Twitter” numbers:
Most followed person: Katy Perry (84,700,000 followers)
Most retweeted tweet: Ellen DeGeneris/Bradley Cooper’s 2014 Oscar Selfie (3,342,171 times)
Most used hashtag: #FF
Most mentioned person: Justin Bieber
Most geotagged city: Sao Paolo, Brazil
Most tweets per minute: during FIFA’s 2014 World Cup Final Germany – Argentina (618.725 tweets/minute)
Fastest to reach 1 million followers: Caitlyn Jenner (4 hours, 3 minutes)
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