A new Twitter scam is enticing users by appealing to their vanity in order to get them to hand over their personal info.
The scam is presented in an innocent-looking tweet that promises to show you the people who have been clicking on your profile. The tweet says “You have the possibility to know who visits your profile with this simple app.”
Because Twitter wants to encourage innovation among developers, its API is available for startups to tinker with. The potential bad side of this is that unsavory types can create all kinds of malware to entrap users.
Twitter scam hijacks users’ accounts and posts for them
While social media networks such as Linkedin and others offer the capability to see who’s viewed your profile, Twitter does not. And so the tease appeals to our nearly insatiable need for information — data digging — to get us to click on the link and sign up.
Twitter has flagged the account and now when you click on it, a message says: “Warning: This link may be unsafe. The link you are trying to access has been identified by Twitter or our partners as being potentially harmful or associated with a violation of Twitter’s Terms of Service.”
Social media scams have been around since Twitter and Facebook’s inception. Before that, you probably received email from a Nigerian prince who promised you a fortune if he could use your bank account number.
People asking for money, phishing tactics and even games that have hidden charges are all scams that have proliferated on the web for years now for one simple reason: They work.
How to protect your personal information online
Unfortunately, criminals oftentimes know how to stay one step ahead of the safeguards that many of us use, so we have to be extra-vigilant in protection our information.
Crooks are employing sophisticated email scams that mimic real companies, including credit card companies and banks. So it’s important to do a Google search of the company or brand before you click on any link — and no matter what, don’t provide them with any personal information through email.
Check your credit card and bank statements daily
If you participate in a lot of activities online — especially shopping — a good practice to adopt is to check your bank and credit card statements daily. That questionable company you made that online purchase from two weeks ago could be siphoning funds from you discreetly. Here’s more on why you should be checking every day.