How NOT to get Justin Bieber to follow you on Twitter

Filed Under: Celebrities, Privacy, Social networks, Spam, Twitter, Video

Justin Bieber, Twitter phenomenonDo you want Justin Bieber to follow you on Twitter?

Well, chances are that you do.. if you're a 12 year old girl.

And sure enough, with so many adoring young fans of Justin Bieber around the world, there are scammers looking for an opportunity to make a quick buck.

I've made a video of a scam that I've seen on Twitter today, which targets fans within seconds of them sending messages to Justin Bieber's Twitter account:

(Enjoy this video? Check out more on the SophosLabs YouTube channel and subscribe if you like.)

The scam works like this:

* Veronica Spud, a fan of Justin Bieber, writes a message for Justin on Twitter saying that she is his biggest fan and she loves his haircut.

* Edwina, an automated bot account set up by scammers, hunts for users referring to @JustinBieber and posts the potential young victim a message:

Who knew that someone as famous as Justin Bieber could be one of your followers, u know. [LINK]

Who knew that someone as famous as Justin Bieber could be one of your followers, u know

* Veronica, desperate for Justin Bieber to follow her on Twitter, clicks on the link. Excited at the thought of learning the secret of getting the pint-sized popstar to be their new best friend, they think nothing of launching into an IQ test to learn the password that will unlock the secret.

Justin Bieber Twitter scam landing page

* In the blink of an eye, Veronica is entering her mobile phone number and signing up for a premium rate service that will cost her £4.50 a week - in the belief that it will somehow lead to Justin Bieber following her on Twitter.

Are you sure you want to enter your mobile number?

* Edwina, meanwhile, has helped her scammer overlords earn some commission.

This scam is active right now on Twitter. I've told Twitter's security team about it, so hopefully they can shut it down - but it probably won't be long before a similar scam pops its head up taking advantage of the rich mine of users acting unsafely.

If you see a message or Twitter user that you think is suspicious, remember you can report the user for sending spam.

And if you want to keep up-to-date on the latest threats, including social networking threats, I would love you to follow me on Twitter as @gcluley.

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3 Responses to How NOT to get Justin Bieber to follow you on Twitter

  1. Alex · 1191 days ago

    That's just sad... But I like that fact that you called him pint-sized ;)

  2. hdebow · 1189 days ago

    Yup still happening today

  3. The guys who made this are idiots, they left their MD5 hash right in their code...

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About the author

Graham Cluley runs his own award-winning computer security blog, and is a veteran of the anti-virus industry having worked for a number of security companies since the early 1990s. Now an independent security analyst, he regularly makes media appearances and gives computer security presentations. Send Graham an email, subscribe to his updates on Facebook, follow him on Twitter and App.net, and circle him on Google Plus for regular updates.