Social networking sites provide users with many benefits, and these days, there are tons of different platforms where information is shared. Sites like Facebook and Twitter are the most common, and people create profiles on these sites for several different reasons. You can share pics and posts with friends, track down childhood buddies, promote events, and more.
All benefits aside, there is one lingering issue that social media sites just can’t seem to get rid of—scams. No matter how clean your profile is, or how tight-knit your friends and followers are, you will undoubtedly encounter scams on Facebook and Twitter. The trick is to learn how to spot these cyber hoaxes right away so that you can effectively avoid becoming a victim.
Unfortunately, cyber criminals are becoming more and more sophisticated, and scams that were once easy to spot are now totally enmeshed with seemingly legitimate online activity. Facebook scams are a little bit more obvious to users, but Twitter scams can be pretty difficult to identify. To help you out, we’ve created a list of five ways to spot and avoid a Twitter scam.
Have you ever checked your Twitter inbox and found direct messages that tell you you’ve won something or been picked for some kind of prize? Welp, folks, these messages are spam and whoever (or whatever) is sending them is merely attempting to lure you into some kind of trap. To avoid getting the same messages in the future, delete the follower from your account and add them to your “block list” so that they won’t be able to contact you in the future.
We’ve all seen these tweets and messages at some point. Random accounts will tweet or mention users with a massage saying, “Get 1,000 followers overnight! Click here!” A word to the wise. . .do not click the link. These links are spam, and unfortunately a lot of people fall for them because, who doesn’t want 1,000 followers overnight? Just keep in mind that these random messages aren’t real, and they will not deliver what’s promised.
Any tweets that contain the words “Enter Here” should be avoided at all costs. Expert Twitter spammers are well-aware that people are drawn to these words, which is why they use them in their scamming efforts. Think about it. You click a link to “enter” some sort of contest, but entering requires that you provide all of your personal information. When you click submit, someone out there now has all your info, and they will use it against you. If a contest is being tweeted about by a reputable company, then you can always visit the company’s website to make sure what you’re about to enter is legit.
Fake profiles are rampant on Twitter, and most of them aren’t created with good intentions. If you suspect that one of your followers is operating a fake profile, then you should do a little research to validate your concerns. Try searching their name in a public records database, or look them up on another social media platform to see if the identities match up. If your suspicions check out, and the profile doesn’t belong to a real person, then report it to the Twitter police so that they can handle it right away.
Linking your Twitter to your text messages may sound like a good idea at the time solely because of the convenience factor, but it really should be avoided. If you link the two, then before you know it, unsolicited text messages will flood your SMS inbox. The majority of these text messages are phishing scams with content like “OMG did you see what this person tweeted about you?!” A link will also be provided, naturally, and if you click on it, there’s a good chance it’ll sign you up for some sketchy Twitter spam operation that’ll add monthly charges to your cell phone bill.
Internet safety is extremely important on all websites, but it is even more vital when it comes to social media platforms. With the amount of time we all spend on social media, and the amount of personal information we share on our profiles, we need to make sure that our privacy is secure. It’s always better to be safe than sorry—especially online— because the last thing anyone wants is to be lured into a Twitter trap run by a sketchy cyber criminal.