I’ve noticed a lot of favourites on odd tweets lately, mostly my check-ins to beers from Untappd – then I started noticing some patterns.
I get a whole flood of favourites on a single tweet, all of them have innocuous looking twitter handles (A name and a couple of letters, or two names) – mostly with 2 numbers at the end, and they are populated Twitter accounts with bios, tweets, retweets etc. Seems like a fairly intelligent spam bot.
The only thing I did notice, is there’s no interaction – no replies to anyone, no conversations (which is suspicious for Twitter). Other than that, it’s pretty legit.
Take this avalance of favourites for example (click the image to see full size):
Twitter Favourite Spam indeed.
All within 8 minutes of each other, all on different Tweets, all on Tweets from Untappd. The interesting part is, because they are Twitter favourites, Gmail deems them important and puts them right at the top of the pile in the ‘Important’ inbox.
Which is the only reason I think perhaps the spammers are doing this. They don’t have spammy URLs in their profiles either.
After some reading, it seems like this method has been around since June 2013 (last year) and has bee noticed by a few people:
The other reason they are doing it is to pick-up followers by favouring, and then what? Maybe sell the accounts to spammers. Anyone else had this happening to them lately?
I’m not sure there’s a lot we can do other than block/mark as spam on the accounts and hope Twitter figures out how to stop this.