Better Business Bureau: Verified on Twitter or Instagram? If so, this scam is targeting you

Milwaukee, Wis. – Social media has long been a favorite haunt of scammers. In this new phishing scam, con artists are going after businesses and individuals with verified accounts – a measure that was supposed to help prevent scams!  
How this scam works

You receive a direct message or email that appears to come directly from Twitter, Instagram, or another social media platform. It states that your verified account has been flagged, and you’ll need to re-verify it. You could allegedly lose your verified account badge if you don’t respond. For example, some Twitter users have reported receiving direct messages or emails stating that their blue verified badge has been marked as spam and, if they don’t appeal the decision, it will be deleted.

The scam message asks you to click on a link or download a form to start the appeal process and re-verify your account. If you click, you may download malware onto your laptop or mobile device. This can collect your personal data without your knowledge. If you fill out forms or reply with the requested information, scammers may be able to hack your account or use your personal information to commit identity theft.

How to avoid social media scams:

  • Understand how social media platforms work. Get to know a social media platform’s policies before you start using it. For example, Twitter never sends emails with a request for login credentials, nor do they send emails with attachments. If you are clear on the platform’s policies and procedures, you’ll be less likely to fall for correspondence from a scammer – even if it looks legit.
  • Be wary of unsolicited messages. Whether it’s a DM, an email, or a message on a messaging app, be skeptical about out-of-the-blue messages, especially if they ask you to click on links or open attachments. Instead, go straight to the source – the platform’s official customer service center – to find out if the message is real.
  • Look for the signs of a scam. Poor spelling, bad grammar, pressure to act now, and scare tactics are all red flags that indicate a scam.
  • Always protect your personal information. Never give your login credentials or other personal information to a stranger without verifying the legitimacy of their request. Most reputable companies won’t ask you for your login information.

For more information
If you’ve spotted a scam (whether or not you’ve lost money), report it to BBB Scam Tracker.  Your report can help others avoid falling victim to scams. Read more about spotting fake social media accounts.

Learn how to spot a scam at

For an online version, click here
 For more information or further inquiries, contact the Wisconsin BBB at, 414-847-6000 or 1-800-273-1002. Consumers also can find more information about how to protect themselves from scams by following the Wisconsin BBB on FacebookTwitterInstagram and YouTube.  ABOUT BBB: For more than 100 years, the Better Business Bureau has been helping people find businesses, brands and charities they can trust. In 2021, people turned to BBB more than 200 million times for BBB Business Profiles on 6.3 million businesses and Charity Reports on 25,000 charities, all available for free at There are local, independent BBBs across the United States, Canada and Mexico, including BBB Serving Wisconsin which was founded in 1939 and serves the state of Wisconsin.