Here’s a quick post to warn you of a Twitter phishing* problem that I’ve seen swimming around over the past few weeks. In a moment of complete tiredness and stupidity I was actually caught out by this one…Doh!
You will receive a private message saying something along the lines of “Hi. some person is saying bad things about you here” followed with a link. I actually got an E-mail of the private message and followed the link through that.
When you click the link you are taken to a fake Twitter log-in page. The design/coding is exactly the same so you will think you are simply logging in to Twitter. It is NOT the Twitter website. If you want any clarification check the URL too. I actually noticed this particular scam was using some sort of play on twitter.com. I think it may have been tvvitter.com which I think is actually pretty smart.
On this fake log-in page there will be the option of entering your username and password. Do not enter them. This will basically email the spammer directly with your account details and you will start automatically sending out the “Hi. some person is saying bad things about you here” messages to all your followers…ouch!
After a few blushes of my own, the way to solve it seemed to be to firstly change my password (an obvious start) and then to simply browse to the ‘messages’ area of Twitter and delete all the messages the spammer had sent out (pretty sure this was automatic). This will help prevent the virus from spreading as others will then not be tempted to click through. Its also good for your brand or business to solve these problems as it may have a detrimental effect on your image.
If you receive any of these messages in the future simply ignore or delete them where possible.
I hope this is a useful warning to twitterholics out there! You can follow me @tomdurkin.
*The act of stealing passwords or data by convincing someone they are on another website.