Social media has long been a favorite haunt of scammers. In a new phishing scam, con artists are going after businesses and individuals with verified accounts — a measure that was supposed to help prevent scams!
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 states that your verified account has been flagged, and you’ll need to re-verify it. You could allegedly lose your verified account badge if you don’t respond. For example, some Twitter users have reported receiving direct messages or emails stating that their blue verified badge has been marked as spam and, if they don’t appeal the decision, it will be deleted.
The scam message asks you to click on a link or download a form to start the appeal process and re-verify your account. If you click, you may download malware onto your laptop or mobile device. This can collect your personal data without your knowledge. If you fill out forms or reply with the requested information, scammers may be able to hack your account or use your personal information to commit identity theft.
So, how can you avoid falling for this scam — or any social media scam for that matter? The Better Business Bureau (BBB) team explores tips on how to protect yourself and your accounts in a new article here.