Thursday, August 27, 2015

Spotting Frauds On Twitter

It would be great to talk about sports all the time and never have to delve into anything else but sometimes something comes up that is your duty as a citizen of the planet Earth to talk about. Yesterday's tragic events in Virginia have led to a lot of important discussion, and some touching memorials to the two souls lost, however they have also led to some pretty nasty fraud attempts.



Take for example this account, Alison&Adam Funds, which I am sincerely hoping is banned by the time you read this (if it's not, please report it!).

Let's dive right into the flags, the things that should help you spot frauds like this in future.

  1. First – the name @owinostephen3, clearly not affiliated with either family or any organization likely to help. 
  2. A quick check of that name on Google links to a Facebook account with 20 followers – instant flag right there
  3. Unfortunately it has to be said, that Facebook account is clearly African of origin. Ask yourself, why would a Facebook user in Africa with 20 followers care about funds for a tragedy like this?
  4. A very quick check to run is the followers of the account. In this case they are almost all fake accounts. You can tell quite simply from their makeup. In this case, a lot of soft-porn type accounts, a lot of African accounts and several clearly fake ones.
  5. Another check is of course followers-to-following ratio, in this case 60 approx to 350 approx, meaning they are following a lot of people, yet no one follows them proportionately, a big flag.
  6. The tweets they send are a quick check point, in this case this is clearly an account setup with the aim of defrauding people, as all 30 approx tweets are copy/pasted and repeated.

The more you dig, the more hateful and disgraceful this kind of behavior is. All you can do is be smart yourself and don't fall for it, educate those around you and of course, report, report, report. The Internet is our playground, pick up the litter and throw it in the trash, so everyone can enjoy it. This litter definitely needs to go in the trash,
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I have to say, sadly Twitter do not make it easy to send a detailed report on accounts such as these, lots of other bad stuff, sure, but they need to make it simple to report this kind of rubbish as quickly as possible.

The Internet is both awesome and awful. Make sure you stay smart while on it, and never let fools like this trick you.




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