12 ON YOUR SIDE ALERT: Twitter Photo Scam - NBC12 - WWBT - Richmond, VA News On Your Side

12 ON YOUR SIDE ALERT: Twitter Photo Scam


Crooks are targeting Twitter accounts. Cyber experts say the scam is spreading fast and if you're not careful, you could be the next victim. Scammers are sending Tweets with links claiming it's a photo of you. If you click it, you are downloading malicious software to your computer.

Cyber expert, DJ Rivera with AVM Technology in Richmond, says if you Tweet you need to be on alert. "All they have to do is get you to click," Rivera says. The Tweet will either say "It's you on photo" or "It's about you." "People are going to think oh, there is something out there about me, let me click on it and see what is going on," Rivera told us.

If you click it you are downloading what's called a Blackhole Exploit Kit. Rivera says you'll never know it's downloading and the entire time it's scanning your computer looking for weakness. "It can use your computer as a Botnet Zombie, it can steal information or use key logging features. It can do all kinds of stuff depending on what you are vulnerable to," he tells us.

If you've already click the link, it's not good news. Cyber experts say this Malware is really good at hiding on your computer. The best advice, run your antivirus and make sure your computer programs are up to date. If that doesn't work, you may have to take it to a professional to clean it up. "I know sometimes it is very annoying, Windows will interrupt whatever you are doing and tell you to restart your computer now or do it for you while you are gone. It is really annoying but it is necessary," Rivera says.

A big red flag is what's in the link. Rivera says if it contains dot RU which stands for Russia or dot CU for Cuba, it's spam. His advice, never click at link if you're not sure where it came from and even if you recognize the name, be careful, crooks can make a link appear like it is coming from a friend. When in doubt, he says contact the person that sent the link. "It is just going to keep evolving. It always is a game of catchup," Rivera says.

Cyber experts say don't get too caught up in the Twitter photo deception. Crooks can change up these scams. The link may say something else. The goal is always to get you to click the link.

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