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Monday, November 5, 2012

Twitter Phishing Scam

Beware of scams like this. I've mentioned these sort of scams again and again and yet they continue to happen and people continue to fall for the simple tricks that people play.

I received a message that someone had sent me a message on Twitter that was sent to my e-mail inbox. The Twitter account is real and the Twitter e-mail is real. Here's what it looked like.

I bleeped out the person's name because her account was hacked and she doesn't deserve bullying because she wasn't behind this scam.

Scammers hack into accounts, Facebook, Twitter, other social networking profiles because they need to get "free" advertising the unethical way. Rather than paying for advertisements or taking advantage of free, legitimate ways of promoting their website, they instead resort to stealing people's profiles and spamming their trusted network of friends. Other times, they are "phishing" for people's personal information to steal and sell to companies and/or steal their identity. You can avoid these if you follow my simple rule.

Across my various posts on internet scams, the same seems to be true that people should check the URL before logging into their favorite website. This advice can go for all websites.

Upon clicking the above link, I was sent to a website that looked like this.

If you can't see the picture, simply click the picture for a larger view.

Do you see the red circle at the top of the screenshot? That is what is commonly known as the URL. It is located in your web browser's address bar. I am currently using Google Chrome, so my address bar is at the top. Most web browsers are this way. But do you notice what it says?

If you clicked this bit link and got this page, what would you have done? Most people would have simply tried logging in. Often times, this is how scammers steal your password and log into your profile. Really, there is no hacking involved when someone does this, usually. It's just someone who happened to get lucky by someone else not paying attention.

The URL in the address bar reads Notice the part between the "http://" and the ".com". This is NOT the real Twitter. At first glance, or from afar, this may appear to be the Twitter log in page, but it isn't.
Borrowed from this link.

Next time you see a login page, check the URL. Make sure that it is the website that you are looking for and not a copy cat.

I noticed that some companies like the bank, Wells Fargo, have actually gone the length to purchase similar domains (domain is another name for a URL) to be redirected to their website. Typing in something like will actually take you to their website which prevents people from being scammed. This is the reason why Facebook warns you when you leave their link, because sometimes, some people will share a link with you over Facebook and ask you to check it out and it may appear to be Facebook, but it really isn't.

Be careful out there and be safe.

If your account is hacked, change your password and/or e-mail. To be certain that it doesn't happen again, change both. But changing the password is suffice enough to stop the hacking from continuing in most circumstances unless the hacker has access to your e-mail which can be dangerous and I would advise in changing your e-mail address to another.

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