Fake accounts claiming to verify you are now abundant on Twitter; but we have come across a scam that claims to be able to be the “quick and easy way” to get the beloved blue tick that, surprisingly, everyone now wants.
The scam website in question, verifymytwitter.com, looks like the official website – like most scams. The website uses the same background and colour scheme, and even features the blue tick on its website. And if we look at the Twitter profile – which appears to be the bait – then we can sort of see why people would be confused. Its Twitter account features the blue tick as well.
Obviously, it does not have the blue tick. Basically, that background profile header image is a background (as you can see below). When you hover on the logo, there is no “Verified profile” bubble that fades in. As Sophos’ Naked Security blog has noted before, Twitter’s profile header has made it possible for people to fool people that it is the real account. They cite an example of a Percy Jackson roleplay account confusing the heck out of people.
“There’s no suggestion that whoever is behind the Percy Jackson account has any malicious intent, but clearly the current way Twitter presents verified accounts could be exploited by those with mischief in mind,” Graham Cluley wrote.
So how much does it cost to supposedly get the Twitter Verified tick? 80GBP, or around $120 AUD. The money is sent through a PayPal account registered under a British-based Hotmail account. The email address also matches the email address listed on the domain’s Whois record under their “administrative contact”.
We’re not entirely sure if and how many people have fallen for the scam – we came onto it pretty much by accident because I was originally going to write about how fake accounts that claim to be able to verify you. However, a simple check on Twitter’s help about verified accounts would tell you that in order to be verified, you need to be highly sought users in “music, acting, fashion, government, religion, journalism, media, advertising, business, and other key interest areas.”
These accounts that promote that they can verify you is false. They don’t. Twitter (via @verified) themselves chooses who gets verified and who does not – and you cannot pay your way to get the blue tick. Nor will retweeting or following an account will earn you the tick.
Plus, you don’t need to have the verified tick anyway. There are plenty of ways of showing that it is your account – like linking it to your blog, or putting it in your email footer.