Fans Beware: Fake Twitter Accounts Love the Trade Deadline

The trade deadline is one of the most exciting times of the year because this yearly ritual can give hope to fans of all 30 Major League clubs.

Fans who cheer for a seller can be excited about the new prospects their team might be receiving while fans of buyers are able to hope for top players who will help win games in a playoff race and even October.

With this year’s deadline just over a week away from us, the excitement is slowly beginning to build up. The first big waves hit the league today when the Oakland Athletics sent lefty Scott Kazmir to the Houston Astros for two prospects. The Pittsburgh Pirates also brought third baseman Aramis Ramirez back to the Steel City after he previously called Pittsburgh home from 1998 to the trade deadline back in 2003.

The possibility of players moving at any minute has avid baseball fans checking Twitter constantly. This helps everybody get up to the second news on all the happenings across Major League Baseball at a time when news runs wild but it can also be a very dangerous activity. Everybody needs to be on the lookout for fake social media accounts that could be providing fans with false information.

These accounts can sometimes be very convincing. They often use the same avatar image and a very similar user name to well known and trusted baseball reporters and writers. A fake Ken Rosenthal account had many fans fooled on some big trade news earlier today.

It looks pretty legitimate at face value and with a quick glance, anybody would believe that the Detroit Tigers had just traded Yoenis Cespedes to the New York Mets for one of their young arms. Rosenthal, a baseball insider for FOX Sports and MLB Network, uses that same headshot as a profile picture on his verified account and the Twitter handles are exactly the same with one small difference, the fake account has dropped the “h” in Rosenthal. Such a minor difference in spelling would be so easy for a fan to miss when scrolling through their Twitter feed.

These false accounts look the part but they also talk the part too. The fake Rosenthal did a great job with how the tweet was phrased, saying “sources” and finishing his tweet by informing readers that “nothing is confirmed yet.” Whoever is the mind behind this had the language spot on and it looks just like a tweet that the real Rosenthal sends out when he actually breaks news.

There are ways to easily catch fake accounts so you won’t go about believing false information. The easiest way is seeing if the account is verified or not. An account that is officially verified by Twitter will have a white checkmark surrounded by a light blue badge next to the username.

The number of followers that an account has can be telling as well. The real Rosenthal has over 600,000 followers where the fake account has just 11, a massive difference.

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