This morning, I started to log on to Twitter.com, but got redirected immediately to a website where I was told that I had been selected to complete in a three-question survey and that for my trouble, I would receive a prize. The suspicious angel on my right shoulder said, “Scam alert!” The curious devil on my left shoulder said, “At least take a look!”
I gave in to Curious, knowing that the moment I was asked for any personal information at all, I’d bail. I answered the three questions: are you male or female, are you accessing this from home or work, and how many hours a day do you spend on social networking. Then came “the prize.”
The Twitter scam prizes
I actually had my choice of three prizes. The most interesting were the iPad 2 and the iPhone. By now, Suspicious on my right shoulder was yelling at me to bail. “Not yet,” I said. I selected my prize and clicked the submit button.
And there it was, the first question that would lead me down the path to identity theft—my email address. I don’t know what other questions were going to be asked on subsequent pages, but I wasn’t about to hang around to find out. I bailed.
The Twiter website
No, that’s not a typo. The address that I typed in this morning was twiter.com, not twitter.com—note that the invalid address is missing a “t”. If you happen to mistype that address for Twitter and wind up on a website that is offering you prizes, get out—the only prize you’ll get will be trouble. This scam has also been know to have been used on Facebook, so there is likely a derivative of the Facebook.com address that will result in the same outcome.