Scammers target Twitter usersPosted: Updated:
The popularity of Twitter has attracted nearly 15 million users, media attention and now scammers, using the Web site to peddle phony money-making schemes.
Scammers are using Twitter to convince job-hunters they can make quick and easy money working from home. Nevertheless, while the large print for these offers may promise big returns, the fine print can really cost you.
Barbara Behrens has not gone clothes shopping in years because she does not need to. She makes everything she wears herself. She explains, "This is a lot of my fabric, these are all kinds of patterns, I just love it."
This year, Behrens decided to turn her craft into a career by selling what she sews on eBay. She paid $1.95 to ship a free CD-ROM detailing how to start a business online.
She says, "I'd have to have a Web site, and I don't want to do that," she says, "so I just forgot about it."
Weeks later, Barbara was shocked to find out she'd been charged $98 from the Web site, MobileMoneyCD.com.
The reason was that she did not cancel her seven-day trial period in time, because she never knew she had to. She tells 3 On Your Side, "I call it a scam."
Felicia Thompson, with the Better Business Bureau says work-from-home scams have been around for years, but now similar rip-offs are being mimicked on Twitter.
"Since Twitter is pretty much on everyone's mind now, they're using that opportunity to hone in and contact people who might be on the social-networking site to talk to friends to say, 'Hey you can make this much money, go to this site and we can tell you how to do it," says Thompson.
EasyTweetProfits.com and TwitterProfitHouse.com are two Web sites the BBB is warning users about. Both claim you can make hundreds of dollars per day reposting tweets from home.
You are told to buy a $2 instructional CD, but buried in the terms and conditions is a hefty monthly fee, if you do not cancel a seven-day trial period in time.
"They're setting you up for failure basically, you're never going to get that CD, test it and cancel it in time if you want to cancel," says Thompson.
Twitter did not respond to 3 On Your Side's request for comment, but beginning this week, the company did begin checking url's posted by users, a security measure aimed at weeding out scams and malicious websites.
So far, the Arizona BBB says no one has complained about the work-from-home tweets, but with the boom of the little blue bird, it is only a matter of time before the complaints begin rolling in.
"We want to hopefully stop it before people fall victim," says Thompson, "and hand over that money that they don't have the opportunity to lose in the first place."
More than 77,000 people are following , an account set up by Twitter to inform users about the latest scams and how to report them.
One tweet warns, "When you report a scam, don't re-tweet the message, just report the username, otherwise, you may get suspended along with the spam!"