On Monday, Sept. 23, Twitter updated its policies to prohibit activities that seek to acquire money or financial information from users of the social media platform.
The move is a response to the persistent problem of scammers who create fake profiles and impersonate high profile individuals.
Twitter Cracks Down On Financial Scam
Under the new policy, users are not allowed to create fake accounts and pose as a celebrity or an organization to deceive users into giving money, ask for an initial payment with a promise to send a larger amount in return, offer fraudulent discounts, and impersonate banks to gain financial information. The new policy, however, does not prohibit users from airing complaints about goods and services.
Twitter users who encounter tweets or direct messages that violate the new policy can report offending accounts. The social media platform has expanded its reporting to enable users to more accurately identify what made the tweet or message suspicious.
To report an account on both the app and on desktop, click the downward-facing icon and select the option "It's suspicious or spam." There would be another window that asks if the tweet or message links to a potentially malicious or phishing site and if the account posts spam to increase its visibility.
Accounts found to be violating the anti-financial scam policy will either be temporarily locked or permanently suspended. Their tweets or messages might also be removed and the potentially malicious links they spread will be blacklisted from the site.
"We want Twitter to be a place where people can make human connections and find reliable information," the company stated.
We're always updating our rules based on how online behaviors change. Today we're expanding our policies to prohibit financial scams.
Read more: https://t.co/ihBxbTGKk5 — Twitter Safety (@TwitterSafety) September 23, 2019
Twitter's Scammer Problem
In November, scammers hijacked the verified accounts of Farah, a menswear brand, and Capgemini, an IT consulting office. Both accounts posed as Musk and tweeted the same fake cryptocurrency giveaway.
In these cases, Twitter users were asked to contribute a small amount of bitcoin in exchange of a larger amount. Unfortunately, many have fallen into the cryptocurrency scam and got nothing in return.
One bitcoin wallet associated with a hijacked verified account was able to dupe people into paying a combined total of around $180,000.