Companies don’t always wade into discussions over hoaxes and scams, but social media giant Twitter has warned users not to fall victim to an unsophisticated new hoax that’s going viral. It isn’t something that will result in a third-party gaining access to your login, but it could see you banned from your existing account.
The website allows you to choose a colour scheme for your profile when you set up an account. And according to the hoax, if you change your year of birth to 2007 under your profile settings, you’ll unlock a hidden new colour scheme to use on the website. It also states that you’ll get administrative control, be rewarded with cash, or gain the coveted blue ‘verified’ tick beside your profile.
But none of this is remotely true. When you change your birthday to 2007, it changes your age to 12, which results in you being locked out of your account because it goes against Twitter’s age policy. The company recently barred users under the age of 13 from having an account, with the change taking effect in May 2018.
It seems that the hoax is being spread at random by users who are treating it as a prank, as opposed to their being any financial motive behind it. And some have used photo editing software to make it appear more legitimate as you can see from the above image. Going through with the advice won’t let any hackers into your account, but it will stop you from being able to use it anymore.
One of the most prolific tweets referencing the hoax was shared around 25,000 times, with hundreds of comments being left in response. Among these were many users reporting that they had fallen victim.
Twitter released a statement that said, “We’ve noticed a prank trying to get people to change their Twitter birthday in their profile to unlock new color schemes. Please don’t try this. We don’t have different color schemes based on your birthday.” If you’ve been affected, then the official advice from Twitter is to complete their appeal form that can be found on the website.