I have a bit of a PSA here. If you get crazy DMs (Direct Messages) or @replys from someone that you are following – let them know about it! (And most importantly – don’t click on any links that might be included!)
Last month, my public account got targeted (and to this day I am not sure how or why) and was sending out crazy DMs to pretty much everyone I follow (600+) about Apple beta testing and iPhones. Not a single person wrote me to let me know this was going on! Fortunately (or unfortunately, depending on how you look at it) my account also spammed my private account so as soon as I saw it I knew to go in and change my password and hope for the best.
Even before this has happened to me, I had made it a point to contact whoever sends me crazy DMs. It helps me out because the sooner they know about it, the sooner they can do something about it which will reduce my risk of being sent the same crap DMs over and over again. And it helps them out because chances are – no one else has told them about it yet.
All you need to do is send a simple “your account is sending spam DMs – you might want to change your password”. 9 times out of 10 the person will be thankful – you’ll either get a “Thanks I didn’t know! Changing my password right now!” response or a “Sorry! I changed my password hope that does the trick” type response. Every now and then you get the “NO IT IS NOT!” reply. I find usually when people are this defensive, it is best to just remove them from your friends. It is often hard to convince them. Some of the viruses are sneaky, and there will be no evidence of any sent DMs on the account. The one I was hit with, I had all the DMs in my sent area.
It took me days to delete my sent DMs. Every now and then I go back and check and it seems like more have popped up (though all are with the mid-January date so I am hoping it is not an ongoing issue still) And the more DMs I deleted, the more shocked I became at just how many people got contacted and how many people said nothing about it!