The blue tick verification badge has traditionally been associated with authenticity and official recognition on the platform. However, with the introduction of a paid subscription model, there is a possibility that scammers or impersonators could exploit this system to deceive others.
The decision by Twitter to offer blue-tick verification for a subscription fee has raised concerns among experts regarding potential misuse and the risk of trapping gullible individuals into unlawful activities by scammers. Scammers could create accounts with similar names to genuine companies, individuals, or government organisations and get a paid subscription, which could lead to confusion and make it easier for scammers to impersonate trusted entities, potentially engaging in fraudulent activities.
Users may be inclined to believe information shared by a verified account, leading to a higher likelihood of falling for scams or misinformation spread by imposters.
Possible frauds using blue tick social media accounts :
- Scammers may create fake social media accounts that resemble verified accounts of public figures, celebrities, or well-known organisations. This can mislead users into thinking they are interacting with a legitimate account, giving the fraudster an opportunity to exploit their trust.
- Scammers may engage with users through direct messages and may claim to offer exclusive opportunities, promotions, or services, tricking users into sharing personal information or participating in financial scams.
- Scammers may target brands and individuals by posing as verified accounts and offering fake endorsements or sponsorship opportunities.
- Scammers may create fake customer support accounts for well-known brands or companies that are verified on social media platforms, and they can trick users into sharing sensitive information, such as passwords and credit card details, etc.
- Scammers can spread false information or propaganda that can have wide-ranging effects, including manipulation of public opinion, incitement of discord, or even potential harm to individuals or organisations.
- Verified accounts might be used to falsely endorse products, services, or even other social media accounts, which could be part of larger scam operations.
- Scammers often use verified accounts to host fake giveaways, asking participants to provide personal information, make a payment, or follow additional accounts as a condition of entry.
A few points to consider while dealing with blue-tick Twitter accounts:
- While the blue tick badge signifies verification, it’s not a fool-proof guarantee of authenticity. Take the time to verify the account details, such as the username, follower count, content consistency, verified website, or any other cross-references from trusted sources.
- Genuine blue-tick accounts typically share consistent and high-quality content related to their field or expertise. Look for patterns of regular posting and engagement with followers. Be wary of accounts that suddenly change their content or exhibit suspicious behaviour.
- Be cautious if a blue-tick account reaches out to you requesting personal information, financial details, or passwords. Legitimate entities usually don’t solicit such information through social media platforms.
- If you need to interact with a blue tick account, especially for customer support or inquiries, try to use official channels such as the verified website, official email addresses, or dedicated customer support platforms.
- Exercise caution when clicking on links shared by these accounts, especially if they seem suspicious or promise extraordinary offers. Unshorten the link and check if it’s a phishing link.
People fall prey to wanting to become verified accounts:
Many aspiring influencers believe that being verified will elevate their influencer status, attract more followers, and unlock sponsorship opportunities. The verified badge on social media platforms signifies status and recognition. This desire for (verified mark/blue tick) validation can make them susceptible to scams or fraudulent schemes promising verification.
- Scammers may create spoofed social media accounts posing as verification services. They claim to have connections or inside knowledge that can help individuals obtain verification quickly. These services often require payment upfront but fail to deliver on their promises.
- Phishing scams involve fraudulent emails, messages, or websites that mimic or spoof official communication from social media platforms. Scammers may send messages claiming that the recipient has been selected for verification and asking for personal information, login credentials, or payment details.
- Some scammers create fake accounts, pretending to be representatives of social media platforms. They contact users directly, claiming to offer verification in exchange for payment. These scammers often use persuasive language and tactics to make their offer seem legitimate.
To avoid falling prey to scams or fraudulent schemes, it’s essential to exercise caution and follow the official channels and guidelines provided by social media platforms. Research the legitimate verification processes, understand the eligibility criteria, and be wary of any offers that seem too good to be true.
Reporting a Fraud :
If you come across an social media account that appears to be engaged in fraudulent activities or impersonation, first try and report it on the respective social media platform.
You can report the frauds on cybercrime reporting portal, https://www.cybercrime.gov.in. alternatively they can reach Toll Free Number 1930 just in case there is a financial loss.