Fake Pope Twitter account proves malicious potential of breaking news

Mere minutes after it become publicly known that Argentinian cardinal Jorge Mario Bergoglio was elected to serve as the new Pope, Internet users around the world began searching for him on social networks.

A Twitter account (@JMBergoglio) using his name and photo was promptly discovered, and as many users considered it to be legitimate, it attracted over 100,000 followers in just a day. They were able to read that he was very happy at being elected as Pope, and that kids are going to love him more than Santa Claus.

But, as it turns out, the account is fake and has been promptly suspended by Twitter, presumably after the Vatican PR machine got involved and requested it.

Luckily for the followers, the individual behind the account wasn’t set on promoting malicious links, but this example shows just how easy it is for scammers to find a way of reaching hundreds of thousands of users by simply taking advantage of the massive interest some global events garner.

Even the Verified Account option is sometimes not enough to guarantee that the account you follow belongs to the person you are interested in.

All in all, users are advised to never follow links included in tweets, Facebook posts, or emails unless they are absolutely, 100 percent sure they will not take them to malicious sites.

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