Around the world millions celebrated as Argentinian cardinal Jorge Mario Bergoglio was elected to serve as the new Pope. Ushering in a new era and day for the Catholic Church makes for news overshadowing all else that is happening around the world and once again scammers and Internet tricksters take to the interweb to exploit the historic moment with the creation of a fake Twitter account '@JMBergoglio'.
Not too soon after the white smoke filled the sky above the Vatican, a backlash of exploited PR filled Twitter through a fake account dubbed @JMBergoglio, which was originally presumed to be legitimate. It took just over a day for over 100,000 followers to flock to the @JMBergoglio account to follow its every move proving once again how viral the influx of popular news can be on a network like Twitter.
Not much has changed in the past few years as Twitter has implemented ways to mark accounts as verified for popular figures. Sometimes the verified account status is not enough to guarantee that a Twitter account belongs to whom you think it does. The two-day-old @JMBergoglio account was believed by many to be a legitimate account tied directly to the Vatican's PR. As it turns out, the Vatican PR had to get involved in matters to request that the fake account be suspended, and it was in a prompt manner by Twitter.
The recent creation of a fake Pope twitter account only reminds us of how easy it is to ride off of the heels of popular news or a popular public figure to virtually create a massive following overnight. Doing such a thing is a way for scammers to get hundreds of thousands of potential victims to their ultimate scheme.
Being that the Pope is a figure some may worship and believe in more so than Santa Claus, rest assured that any actions taken against such an entity will be big news. Not only that but trusted networks like Twitter will do everything in their immediate reach to stop such action. Ultimately, they do not want to be holding the smoking gun when authorities come looking for someone to pin criminal activity on.