BBB Scam Alert: How to Protect Your Verified Social Media Accounts

Social media has long been a favorite haunt of scammers. In this new phishing scam, scammers go after businesses and individuals with verified accounts – a measure that should help prevent fraud!

How the scam works

You receive a direct message or email that appears to come directly from Twitter, Instagram, or another social media platform. It says your verified account has been flagged and you need to verify it again. If you don’t respond, you could allegedly lose your verified account. For example, some Twitter users have reported receiving direct messages or emails saying their blue verification badge has been marked as spam and will be deleted if they don’t contest the decision.

The scam message asks you to click a link or download a form to start the appeal process and re-verify your account. If you click on it, you can download malware on your laptop or mobile device. This can record your personal data without your knowledge. If you fill out forms or respond with requested information, scammers may be able to hack your account or use your personal information to commit identity theft.

How to avoid social media scams

  • Understand how social media platforms work. Familiarize yourself with a social media platform’s policies before using them. For example, Twitter never sends emails asking for credentials or emails with attachments. If you’re aware of the platform’s policies and procedures, you’re less likely to fall for a scammer’s correspondence — even if it looks legit.
  • Be wary of unsolicited messages. Whether it’s a direct message, an email, or a message in a messaging app, be wary of unexpected messages, especially if they ask you to click links or open attachments. Instead, go straight to the source — the platform’s official customer support center — to find out if the message is legit.
  • Look for signs of a scam. Poor spelling, bad grammar, pressure to act immediately, and fear mongering are all red flags that point to a scam.
  • Always protect your personal information. Never give your login credentials or other personal information to a stranger without verifying the legitimacy of their request. Most reputable companies will not ask for your credentials.
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For more informations

If a scammer has contacted you, report your experience to BBB Scam Tracker to help other consumers spot the scam. Read more about spotting fake social media accounts. Learn more ways to protect yourself by visiting BBB.org/AvoidScams. To find trusted companies, go to https://www.bbb.org.

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