Twitter is a wonderful social media tool. I spend a good amount of time on twitter every day. However, there are situations using this tool that everyone should be aware of. There are people impersonating celebrities and athletes. I have a cautionary tale regarding fake twitter accounts.
I had been following twitter accounts of Fulham footballer Bobby Zamora and his wife for over one month. There were many Fulham fans that were following these accounts.
Now, I was skeptical from the beginning because these accounts were not verified as authentic by twitter. Many famous people and athletes have this done so you know you are following the real person. So, I guess you can say I should have known better.
As I started reading the tweets of "Bobby Zamora and his wife" they were so detailed that I thought they had to be real. Many fans like myself started interacting with these accounts. The more fans I saw contacting them the more comfortable I became. I let my guard down.
One day I noticed that "Bobby Zamora and his wife" were tweeting about possibly doing a Q & A with fans. I decided that I would contact them and offer to do a Q&A on my site if they wanted. I was not expecting a response. Next thing I knew, "Bobby Zamora's wife" tweeted me that she was interested in setting up a Q&A with me on my site.
Now, I will stress that I should have known better, and should have checked with the team if these twitter accounts were authentic. I want to mention that I always planned on confirming these accounts with the team before posting anything on Cottagers Confidential.
After messages went back and forth for weeks I was told by "Louise Zamora" that they wanted to do a story with me on my site. I would ask them the questions through email.
About 10 days ago I received an email from "Bobby Zamora" who told me his intentions for this story. "He" wanted to come across as a typical family guy who happened to play professional soccer. I followed up by sending over 30 questions. Questions I spent a lot of time developing. As of this posting, I have not received the answers to those questions.
Late last week I started to see tweets from other Fulham fans indicating that the Bobby and Louise Zamora twitter accounts were probably not authentic. The next thing I knew both of these accounts were suspended by twitter.
It is pretty obvious that these twitter accounts of Bobby and Louise Zamora were fakes. I wasted a good amount of time with these people. Many Fulham fans also wasted their time.
I don't know what these people gained by doing this, but if their goal was to embarrass me they definitely succeeded. If there goal was to have me write a story about them they failed. There was no way I was running this story on my site without confirming these accounts. It is my fault that I didn't check with the press office of Fulham.
The real Bobby Zamora and his family did not deserve this fraud. Also, the fans of Fulham that followed them did not deserve to be lied to.
I decided to write about this because I don't want anyone to go through what I have experienced from these fraudulent accounts. I would tell anyone that decides to follow an athlete or a celebrity see if they have that check mark next to their account which means the account is authentic. If you do not see this check mark it doesn't mean they are not real. It just means to be skeptical until that account is confirmed as real. Please do not make the mistake I made.