It’s exciting to see that brands are developing new ways for consumers to buy their products using Twitter. However, if counterfeiters begin to add ecommerce functionality to their tweets, this could quickly become a serious headache for brand owners.
Twitter has accumulated more than 500 million registered users since its launch in 2006 and the number of ‘fake’ Twitter users now extends beyond 20 million. There is already a multitude of ways in which scammers can exploit Twitter. For example, the network is regularly being used to distribute links to counterfeit products on marketplace and independent sites, and illegitimate social media pages often use a company’s name and logo to lend greater credibility to their fraudulent activity.
As social media and retail continue to converge, these risks will only become greater. Twitter has already started working with Amazon to give users the ability to add items to their online shopping cart with a simple hashtag. At present, shoppers will still need to visit the Amazon site to complete the payment process, but what if Twitter decides to take over the payment process as well? Cybercriminals would be in the perfect position to pounce on unsuspecting shoppers and hijack their funds in seconds.
How can businesses protect themselves from social media fraudsters?
Companies can reduce the risk of reputational damage, counterfeiting, piracy and fraud on social media sites by identifying and enforcing against any unauthorized content. Simply taking down the tweets that link to fraudulent sites isn’t enough, however. Instead, businesses need to ensure that the entire site is taken down. Ultimately, social media should act as another face for the brand, not another way for scammers to exploit it.
Click here for more information on how NetNames can help companies protect their brands from the threats of social media.