The Twitter Scam Detector Tool

Popzazzle | Friday, 29 November 2019 |

Cut to the chase and find out what the real deal is with suspected Twitter scammers.




By Bob Leggitt
© Popzazzle
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It’s very difficult to warn people about Twitter scams in a generalised manner. Different scammers have different methods, and no warning can cover them all. I get frustrated when I see just how many people do get duped on Twitter. It’s one of the easiest platforms on the internet to use for nefarious purposes. So I’m taking a ‘route one’ approach to the problem: a scam detector tool. Here it is, but before you get started, bookmark this page. You will want to use the tool again...

THE ACTUAL TOOL


Username:

Search


HOW DO I USE THE TOOL?


The tool could not be easier to use. You enter the username of the account you want to check out (with or without the @ symbol – it doesn’t matter), and hit the Search button. The search specifically seeks reports or discussion of suspicious activity, relating to your chosen username.

TERMS AND DISCLAIMER


Please be aware that when you use the tool you will leave this site and go to Twitter, where Twitter’s own Privacy Policy and Terms will apply. The administrator of this blog accepts no responsibility whatsoever for the content you find on Twitter, and warns that all public discussion may be true or false. The fact that someone says a Twitter user is a scammer, does not necessarily mean they are. It’s always up to you to assess what’s credible, and the admin of this blog cannot enter into any correspondence regarding individual cases…

WHAT DOES THE TOOL DO?


When you hit Search, the tool will transfer you to Twitter and perform an advanced reverse search, based on keywords that commonly occur where there’s suspicious activity. The tool filters out your selected user’s own tweets, and only shows other people’s mentions and replies. The reason for this filtering is that some scammers will themselves repeatedly use suspicious keywords in order to flood the search results and essentially obscure other people’s reports of their bad behaviour. The beauty of this tool is that it doesn’t matter how much your selected user tweets or deletes, they can’t change what you see in your results.

Once you get your results, it’s down to you to decide what’s going on.

Remember, above all, that the tool only puts you into a region of Twitter where suspicious activity is most likely to be reported or discussed. The mere fact that there are results doesn’t necessarily mean the user is a scammer. The mere fact that there are no results doesn’t necessarily mean that they’re clean. You should also pay close attention to which exact users any scam accusations are being directed at. “He’s a scammer”, in a reply to User X, may not mean User X is a scammer. It may just be someone telling User X that User Y is a scammer. It’s down to you to check.

TIPS


If no results show up, make double sure you entered the username correctly. If you did, no results means the tool found no obvious evidence of scamming under that specific username. However, you should remember that anyone can change their username at any time, and that this can fail to show tweets relating to the old username. This link leads to an article on finding old Twitter usernames.

Always check how old the account is. Look at the join date. If the account is brand new or nearly new, be suspicious. Scammers are constantly getting suspended and setting up new profiles under new names – then continuing to run the same schemes. New accounts making claims that sound too good to be true, should not be trusted.

Also - and this is incredibly important - even where older accounts with constant usernames are concerned, an absence of scam accusations doesn’t necessarily give an all-clear. Sometimes people are too embarrassed to admit in public that they were scammed. And sometimes, when calling out a scammer, people only post a screen shot. If the reporter doesn’t actually tag a scammer’s username, a search won’t find their tweet(s).

Take note of the volume of accusations (if any) in the results. An odd one accusation on a well-established account may just be a dispute. Don't dismiss it, but bear in mind that sometimes people fall out or misunderstand each other. Conversely, a large number of accusations coming from different sources should make you highly suspicious of the user in question. Generally, the more scam-related discussion that exists around someone’s profile, the further away from them you should stay.

Where there are scam accusations, check to see if the user is actually responding to them. It’s not universally the case, but scammers tend to block rather than respond, whereas legitimate users tend to defend themselves with responses - maybe even threats of litigation. The tool will attempt to search for reports of blocking, but you should still check whether the accused replies to accusations. If they don’t, it would appear more suspicious than if they do.

Look out for screen shots in your search results. Scammers almost invariably do their dirty work via DM. If a victim or intended victim screenshots and publishes a DM conversation, you might be able to see exactly what the scammer is up to. However, carefully check the username on any screen shots. Scammers often impersonate successful people or businesses, and sometimes, people will blame the real person or business for something an impersonator has done. Impersonators will typically have the exact same screen name as the genuine profile, but a slightly different username.

Unless you’re absolutely 100% sure that someone is a scammer, don’t accuse them. If you make a public accusation and they turn out to be legit, you could end up being sued for libel. If they look suspicious, just keep away from them. It’s Twitter’s responsibility to protect other people from scams – not yours.
Bob 'Interesting' Leggitt is a print-published writer, multi-instrumentalist and twice Guitarist of the Year finalist, Google-certified digital marketer, image manipulation expert, virtual musical instrument builder, "Twitter detective", and author of successful blogs such as Planet Botch, Twirpz and Tape Tardis. | [Twitter] | [Contact Details]