How do Twitter users know they are interacting with a legitimate person or company? The truth is, they don’t. That is, unless that person is someone like Brittney Spears. Twitter has been offering “Verified Accounts” since June, but the company only seems interested in verifying accounts of celebrities — people like movie stars and sports icons.
The Financial Brand has warned of the dangers of phishing attacks on financial institutions’ Twitter accounts ever since January, when BofA first started offering customer service via Twitter.
The Financial Brand now tracks over 600 Twitter accounts for financial institutions, two of which were hacked last week. As more banks and credit unions push the envelope on Twitter, as Vantage Credit Union recently did with its “Tweet My Money” service, the stakes will only be going up.
The Financial Brand has made several attempts to establish dialogue with Twitter about the urgent need to verify accounts of financial institutions and the phishing risks they face. No one from the company has responded, nor even acknowledged that the risks and need are indeed real.
Twitter has apparently promised to offer verified accounts to businesses “by the end of the year,” but that promise was made back in August. Two months later and with only two months to go before year’s end, everyone is still waiting.
If you would like to see Twitter start verifying accounts for financial institutions, here are a few things you can do:
- Leave a comment below.
- Click on the “feedback form” link at the bottom of this page, which tells Twitter you’re interested in Verified Accounts.
- Send a tweet to @ev (Evan Williams) and @biz (Biz Stone) saying you want Twitter to verify accounts for financial institutions, and please include a link to this article. Here’s a pre-shortened link to the story: http://bit.ly/X1Srh
- Check out this article on what you can do to mitigate phishing attacks in the meantime.