Million Dollar Twitter Contest Hijacked by Scammers

Million Dollar Twitter Contest Hijacked by Scammers: Scammers are taking advantage of recent Super Bowl social buzz in a scheme which target entrants of an Esurance contest. The company premiered a commercial following Super Bowl, where they offered US$1.5 million dollars to one lucky Twitter user who used the hashtag #EsuranceSave30.  Following this, Symantec Security Response has observed a number of fake Esurance Twitter accounts being created to leverage the attention generated by this contest.

Many of these Twitter accounts used variations of Esurance’s brand name and logo to convince users they are affiliated with the company. These accounts include the following Twitter handles:

There are also other accounts that use logos and imagery making them look like they belong to Esurance, but their names have nothing to do with the brand. An example is an account named @HelpfulTips, whereby the “l” in Help is the capitalized letter “i”.

This account, created in December 2012, has racked up thousands of followers but performed an “account pivot” during the contest–it changed its avatar, bio and header image, and claimed to be part of the Esurance giveaway. The account added thousands of Twitter followers and received more than 40,000 retweets for a tweet related to the contest overnight.