Twitter is one of the few platforms where users can directly interact with people of significance from the real world including politicians, scientists, company CEOs, developers, filmmakers, and actors. It is likely that most may use a social media manager or someone to keep their account active and engaged but more often than not, it is possible that users will be directly interacting with such personalities through tweets. This interaction can give users an insight into the thoughts of such people that they may admire, including a peek in their real life.
As a result of the direct and curated access to the personalities that users may admire, or consider as a role model, the content posted on Twitter may influence or may result in a change of some habits for its users. This behavior to emulate or at least check what these people may have shared is amplified when they any link or media that these people may share their profile. Hence, this invisible yet strong influence on habits has attracted cybercriminals to try to impersonate some of the real-world important people and post malicious links in the conversations of real-world celebrities.
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The latest to face this is Elon Musk where cryptocurrency scammers are changing their display names to ‘Elon Musk’ along with the display photo to post scam tweets in response to actual tweets by Musk. Even though it is easy to spot such scams but the cybercriminals are simply aiming to target the naive who may not look that closely and may mistake the tweet by a scam account to be a real legitimate tweet by Musk as part of a threaded response.
In response to this problem, Twitter has started locking all the unverified accounts on its platform that may change their display name to ‘Elon Musk’. According to a report by The Verge, Twitter issued a response stating, “As part of our continuing efforts to combat spam and malicious activity on our service, we’re testing new measures to challenge accounts that use terms commonly associated with spam campaigns.” Twitter did not respond to information if this feature was implemented to just the display name ‘Elon Musk’ or if other public figures are also under such filter.
The report notes that this is only limited to unverified accounts that do not have any phone number associated with the account. Once locked, users will have to pass through a CAPTCHA test along with a mobile number to regain access to their account. Users can keep their display names as ‘Elon Musk’ after they have provided their authenticity. This is likely to be an attempt to stop the spam accounts. The company added that it is still working on additional solutions to fix the scam problem.