This is a guest post by Nate Goodman.
Despicable Me Minion at work
stealing your Twitter login
Some of you readers have made it clear that you are small business owners and don't have time for all that "security" balderdash where some guy like me is telling you to watch out for this scam or that scam. Well too bad, pal.
If you have a Twitter following, you might want to read this. Otherwise you could lose all your followers.
Scammers want access to your Twitter account
There are scammers out there looking to gain access to your Twitter account so they can spam your followers by schlepping products like timeshare condos or Ronco Automatic Glass Frosters or used copies of Richard Simmons' Deal-a-meal videos or even tickets to that upcoming Neil Diamond concert you've been dying to attend yourself (admit it). This is probably a reaction from all the Nigerian spammers who no longer can get anyone to transfer them money anymore. Anyway, not only is this not what you want for your followers, but
Most of your followers won't know it's not you sending this garbage and they'll un-follow you.
If they un-follow you, that will reverse all the hard work you put in to gain them as followers in the first place. Some of you who follow me at @ThoughtReach have huge numbers of your own followers, so you should pay attention.
Here's how the scam works
You get a curious tweet directed at you from one of your followers. It might look like this one that arrived in my inbox while I was minding my own business and innocently grinding some Fair Trade espresso beans in my $19 Boden grinder.
The Twitter scam bait: "Hey, this person is writing offensive posts that are about you"
Now to be fair, for all I know, this guy's Twitter account could have been hacked and was used to try to hack into mine, so if that's the case, sorry. Don't go off yelling at me in the comment section below. Anyway, if you were to click on the shortlink in that tweet, you'd be forwarded to this webpage:
Looks like a real Twitter login page, doesn't it
But, take a close look at the URL. It looks like it says twitter.com, but instead it says tvivtter.com. We're not in Kansas anymore, Toto. Had I entered my login credentials to Twitter on this webpage, which is owned by the scammer, he would have acquired my Twitter login and shortly thereafter, my followers would be wondering why I was tweeting them ads for "Ronco Spray-paint-the-bald-away". So just watch out. As a business owner, you may not have time to watch for every security loophole, but you really don't have time to clean up this smashed-Hostess-Twinkie-of-a-mess.
Have you been a victim yourself? Let us know in the comments.
Nate Goodman (@ThoughtReach) is an email software designer with over 11 years in the email marketing, social media, and CRM space. Nate is known for two things: sipping Fair Trade coffee all day long and not being able to keep a straight face after playing a practical joke on his co-workers. Nate authors the Thought Reach blog about email and social media topics.