Twitter Scam Takes Advantage of Justin Bieber Fans
Beliebers, beware: An online scam aimed at fans of Justin Bieber actually charges a monthly subscription fee to your cell phone.
Forbes notes that the scam preys on hardcore fans who are dying to get Bieber to follow them on Twitter. With more than 13 million followers, Bieber is currently the second most-popular account-holder on Twitter, behind only Lady Gaga. But he only follows 116,000 people back.
Rogue Twitter accounts have been popping up that promise to get Bieber to follow your Twitter account if you click a link. Users who click the link are taken to a page that reads, "It is never easy to get a celebrity to follow you on Twitter. Imagine how it feels for someone like Justin Bieber with literally thousands of people begging for you to follow every minute of every day. There is a secret method reporters use when they want to get close to a popular artist which will definatley [sic] work when you’re trying to get someone as huge as Justin Bieber to follow you."
The spelling errors might be a tip-off that the site is a scam, but unsuspecting users who continue are told they must first complete an "IQ Challenge." Users who submit their cell phone number as required may overlook the fine-print, which includes a stipulation that the phone will be charged a subscription fee between $10 and $20 a month.
Bieber's attorney, Todd Mumford, said, “We’ve seen all kinds of things, but we hadn’t seen this before.” Forbes contacted Verizon, which shut down the short code allowing the Bieber scammers to set up subscriptions, so it appears the scammers may be out of business for now. But an earlier version of this scam was shut down this summer, and it re-appeared. So be skeptical of any Twitter promises that sound too good to be true!