There might be no legal repercussions heading his way, but one Twitter spammer is going to have one heck of a headache today, if an angry mob of Twitter elites has anything to do with it. His “app” – which promised to show you how many hours you spent on Twitter but was really used to send nefarious tweets from unwitting accounts – targeted a big-name superstar in social media, and he unleashed the hounds.
The Next Web has the story as it unfolded since Friday.
Like other, similar scams, this one latched on to a popular trending topic: #tedxsv. It appeared in the form of a tweet, saying that the tweeter figured out how many hours they’ve spent on Twitter. Clicking on the link apparently revealed only a completely made-up number. But this scam passed around from tweeter to tweeter like a virus, because when an innocent person clicked the link, the scam tweeted from their account up to 7 times.
These scams are nothing new, but this time the scammer apparently targeted the wrong hashtag – because this one caught the eye of a Twitterati elite: Shervin Pishevar (@shervin), founder of SGN (now MindJolt) and angel investor.
Pishevar apparently clicked on the scam link attached to the #tedxsv hashtag, and the spamware instantly tweeted the false claim on his own wall, without his knowledge. GigaOm’s Mathew Ingram spotted the offending tweet, and alerted Pishevar. And that’s where the fun began.
Shervin called out to his followers to shame the spammer, Mate Hegedus, after tweeting his name and contact information. He discovered the link between the spammy app and Mate through some serious detective work on his and his followers part: connecting Mate to the firm which created the spam software and its respective domain name, through his Facebook account and forum posts.
The The Next Web story stops there, but since Friday, it appears that Mate Hegedus has reached out to Shervin via Twitter:
The @powrhostdotcom account goes on to say that he now owns a separate web host provider and is no longer affiliated with the spamware. However, as Shervin and The Next Web writer @BradMcCarty note, powrhost.com was registered one day before the spam attack, and that Mate posted about the spam software on a forum just about a week ago.
Still some pretty fishy business, but that’s usually the way with spammers. Shervin accepted Mate’s apology and it looks like he’ll let the issue drop, but that kind of reputation hit that Mate went through will make it hard for him and his black-hat crew to do any Twitter spamming in the future.