New, more subtle, Twitter spammers

The @FCShirtsUnited Twitter account got an interesting new follower today. After a quick skim of the new follower’s recent tweets, I actually (embarrassingly) thought it was real. Later I got another new follower, who also looked real at first glance. But then I happened to notice one of their tweets that sounded oddly familiar, so I brought up the other new follower’s page. . . Sure enough. Spammers.

It’s a new (to me, at least) spammer scam. It’s more subtle than what I’ve usually seen, which is usually just an account with a crazy name that follows or mentions one of the accounts I run, possibly with a short phrase or a few random words, and then a link. Those are obviously spam, and I admit to a certain satisfaction in marking them as such in my Twitter app.

But this new style is more subtle, and seems aimed at a longer play. Before starting whatever spammy activity is surely planned, these accounts are being established more carefully. A single one of these accounts could almost be confused with a real (if annoying, repetitive, and kind of dumb) person. But two together clearly shows the pattern, including the intentional attempt to make them seem random, different, and more believable.

I give you: Exhibits A and B, “tomiko lykins” and “shaquita link”.
td, th { border-bottom: solid silver 1px; padding: 6px; vertical-align: top; }

tomiko lykins
tomiko lykins
shaquita link
shaquita link
My annoying sister has put something on my mac. Was that really necessary? #somad My cheeky brother has changed something on my mac. I wish I understood more about these things #somad
Feel great right now. Not sure what I consumed that has done this, but would like to feel it more often. :) Feel tip-top today. Not sure what I imbibed that has done this, but would like to feel it more often. :)
How come when I put the Sky control down, I can never find it for ages.!! How is it when I lay the Sky control down, I can never find it again#wtf
Taking my friend to a speed dating later. Should be interesting, lol Taking my sister to a singles night later. Weirdly nervous for her, :)
etc. etc.

(They aren’t tweeted in that same order; I found the similar ones and matched them that way.)

So, anyway — if you’re followed by similar fake young British-y women, mark them as spam ASAP, before whatever diabolical plan they’re part of can come to fruition!



1 Comment

  1. Jon Crane

    I fell for this scam, a ‘girl’ called Calandra Sounders started following me and I thought little of it. But then I noticed her tweets were a) phenomenally dull and b) slightly repetitive. At first i thought she might be a bit ‘special’. But I’ve now found a whole swarm of people on Twitter sending out identical tweets as each other, most of them purporting to be quite attractive young women. But is it Spam? I really need to know.

    You’ve called it a subtle type of spamming but I reckon it’s not that subtle. Who uses the word ‘imbibed’ more than once in their lives? And then my girl Calandra would hashtag #loveit and if you click on that it brings up dozens of other false accounts, so it’s quite easy to work out it’s all fake. Perhaps it’s a social experiment to see how tolerant men can be on Twitter with seemingly attractive women even when they have nothing to say?

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