Twitter closing my account for copyright violation? No, it’s a phishing attack

I received a direct message (DM) on Twitter, bearing some worrying news.

Apparently my @gcluley Twitter account is in danger of being permanently deleted due to copyright violation. Crikey!

Here is the DM I received from the peculiarly named @copyrighttmedia:

Twitter | Copyright

Hello Twitter user

It appears your account is in violation of our copyright guidelines.

Your account will be permanently deleted from our servers within 48 hours unless you give us feedback.

If you think we will accidentally remove your account, click the link and verify your account twitter pays attention to copyright infringement and user privacy.


Please note that we cannot assist you until you have verified your account.



Of course, it’s not a Twitter account that’s really run by Twitter – despite its rather feeble attempts to pretend to be so (check out that avatar).

And clicking on the link is a very bad idea, as you’ll be taken to a phishing page which attempts to trick you into entering your username, password, and mobile phone number.

I wonder how many other Twitter users might have been tricked into entering their credentials by a scam like this?

Of course, the best response to malicious communications like this is to report them to the real Twitter. Twitter provides a simple way to report and block the sender of a Direct Message, and one hopes that they’ll take appropriate action.

I would also recommend submitting the phishing link to the Google Safe Browsing project, so that other internet users can be protected against similar attacks.

There’s nothing, of course, to stop the perpetrators of this particular scam from creating other Twitter accounts and hosting their phishing pages at other domains, but every little helps…

Stay safe folks.

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Graham Cluley is a veteran of the anti-virus industry having worked for a number of security companies since the early 1990s when he wrote the first ever version of Dr Solomon’s Anti-Virus Toolkit for Windows. Now an independent security analyst, he regularly makes media appearances and is an international public speaker on the topic of computer security, hackers, and online privacy.

Follow him on Twitter at @gcluley, or drop him an email.