Twitter is cracking down on financial scams with a new platform policy

25 Sep 2019

Image: Dominic Lipinski/PA

A new financial scam policy is being introduced by Twitter, in an attempt to crack down on phishing or ‘money flipping’ schemes on its platform.

Twitter is targeting financial scams in its latest attempt to deal with malicious activity on its platform. The social network has outlined a new policy against any intent to deceive other users into sending money or personal financial information.

Creating a fake account or posing as a public figure to trick people into sending cash online is one of the specific activities Twitter said it is clamping down on.

So-called ‘money flipping’ schemes, where a bad actor says they will send a large sum of money if the person sends them a smaller initial payment, is also banned, as well as fake discounts and phishing scams.

Fraudulent schemes

The social media giant detailed its new policy in a post online, saying that its platform cannot be used to “engage in behavior [sic] that manipulates or disrupts people’s experience on Twitter”.

“Using scam tactics on Twitter to obtain money or private financial information is prohibited under this policy,” the company said. “You are not allowed to create accounts, post tweets, or send direct messages that solicit engagement in such fraudulent schemes.”

Accounts found to be carrying out financial scams risk anything from the offending tweet being deleted to a permanent suspension, depending on the type and severity of the violation. Users can report any violations of the policy through Twitter’s spam reporting tool.

However, the social network has warned that it won’t get involved in financial disputes that relate to the sale of goods on Twitter, disputed refunds or complaints of poor quality goods received from individuals or brands.

Twitter has been criticised in the past for allowing fraudulent financial schemes to spread on its platform. Earlier this year, an “obvious” PayPal phishing attempt ran as a promoted tweet on the site, suggesting a need for greater oversight in this area.

– PA Media, with additional reporting from Sarah Harford