Twitter Finally Revises Its Policies to Ban Financial Scams on Its Platform

The social network outlined violations and potential punishments

Punishment for violators depends on the type and severity of the infraction ADragan/iStock

Twitter finally clarified its policies to state that financial scams are prohibited on its platform.

The social network revealed the policy update in a tweet Monday, saying, “We’re always updating our rules based on how online behaviors change. Today we’re expanding our policies to prohibit financial scams.”

The tweet directed users to the Help Center page outlining the social network’s new financial scam policy.

The policy states that Twitter may not be used to deceive users into sending money or sharing personal information via scam tactics, phishing or other fraudulent or deceptive methods, and people are not allowed to create accounts, tweet or send direct messages for those purposes, providing the following examples of policy violations:

  • Relationship/trust-building scams: You may not deceive others into sending you money or personal financial information by operating a fake account or by posing as a public figure or an organization.
  • Money-flipping schemes: You may not engage in “money flipping” schemes (for example, guaranteeing to send someone a large amount of money in return for a smaller initial payment via a wire transfer or prepaid debit card).
  • Fraudulent discounts: You may not operate schemes that make discount offers to others wherein fulfillment of the offers is paid for using stolen credit cards and/or stolen financial credentials.
  • Phishing scams: You may not pose as or imply affiliation with banks or other financial institutions to acquire others’ personal financial information. Keep in mind that other forms of phishing to obtain such information are also in violation of our platform manipulation and spam policy.

The social network added that its policy does not apply to financial disputes between users, such as claims relating to the sale of goods on Twitter, disputed refunds from people or brands or complaints about the quality of goods.

Users can report suspicious tweets by selecting “Report Tweet” from the drop-down menu, choosing “It’s suspicious or spam” and selecting the option that best describes why.

Punishment for violators depends on the type and severity of the infraction, as well as previous violations, and it could include:

  • Anti-spam challenges: When Twitter detects suspicious levels of activity, accounts may be locked and prompted to provide additional information (e.g., a phone number) or to solve a reCAPTCHA.
  • Blacklisting URLs: The social network will blacklist or provide warnings about URLs it believes to be unsafe.
  • Tweet deletion and temporary account locks: Twitter wrote, “If the violation is an isolated incident or first offense, we may take a number of actions ranging from requiring deletion of one or more tweets to temporarily locking account(s). Any subsequent attempts to engage in scam, phishing or other fraud tactics will result in permanent suspension.”
  • Permanent suspension: For severe violations—such as operating accounts where the majority of behavior is in violation of the policies described above, or creating accounts to replace or mimic suspended accounts—accounts will be permanently suspended at first detection. David Cohen is editor of Adweek's Social Pro Daily.