How to avoid fraud with ‘Twitter Blue’ as platform begins purging blue check marks

How to avoid fraud with ‘Twitter Blue’ as platform begins purging blue check marks
Published: Apr. 20, 2023 at 11:08 PM CDT
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EVANSVILLE, Ind. (WFIE) - On Thursday, Twitter eliminated blue check marks for verified accounts that haven’t subscribed to “Twitter Blue.”

Speaking with 14 News, Dr. Maxwell Omwenga, a computer science professor with the University of Evansville, said it could mean users will see more duplicate accounts.

“If people lose those [check marks], that means it’s now opening the door wide for fraudsters to just jump on and pick those usernames,” he said.

[READ MORE: Twitter begins removing blue checks from users who don’t pay]

Under the new model, if a user doesn’t pay a fee, it’s not verified.

If they’re verified, anyone could take a celebrity or prominent figure’s name and likeness in an attempt to defraud people.

Omwenga said people can’t take for granted that the account they see belongs to whom it claims to belong.

“This is a time when users should start paying attention and saying, ‘Oh it needs to have a blue checkmark on it,’” he said. “If it doesn’t have it, just be cautious.”

He said users should pay attention to whether they already followed the account before it lost its verification.

When in doubt, he said don’t take information as necessarily true, and take an extra step to verify on your own.

“Maybe you rely on a website,” Omwenga explained. “Say, ‘Hey, if we go there, we know this is yours. Nobody else has picked this we know it’s just you.’”

Major organizations like the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Service have already had to post and confirm their official account.

14 News journalists have their social media accounts linked on the 14 News website under the Meet the Team tab.