Social Media Brand Abuse Explained
Imposters with malicious intent are turning to social media as a simple method of social engineering for a variety of purposes. They would normally establish trust and gain a large number of followers by regurgitating genuine news and information, before using the profile for a malicious purpose.
Some of the potential uses for a fake social media profile are to:
- Direct customers to a phishing site to gain login information
- Direct customers to a drive by download malware site to infect their machine
- Sell communication or a contact list of a company’s customers (followers) to a competitor
- Communicate false information in an attempt to influence the share price of a company, or;
- Simply sell a successful social media profile for a brand back to the legitimate brand owner.
The costs of Social Media brand abuse
Social media brand impersonation could have financial impact on a company, but whatever its uses, it is likely to do serious damage to a brand’s reputation. The risks of not acting on social media brand abuse are:
- Financial losses
- Damaged reputation
- Aggravated customers
It is critical that corporations address the potential risks of social media brand impersonation, which could lead to direct financial losses, market share loss, brand reputation damage, and at the extreme, the potential collapse of the company.
Director, Fraudwatch International
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