Proving that no good deed goes unpunished, Bank of America was victimized by an imposter during the bank’s first month on Twitter. BofA initially signed onto Twitter as an additional channel to field customer queries, which are then continued in a private venue. But electronic fraud knows no bounds, and an imposter set up a Twitter account called Bofabanker on Feb 24, with the following profile: “I work for the bank you love to hate.”

Within a day, the imposter was nabbed by David Knapp, a real employee, who sent the following tweet to the impersonator “I work for Bank of America, please send me a DM so we can discuss your presence on Twitter. You’re considered an imposter.” The imposter then quickly changed his/her profile to something less dishonest but arguably worse for BofA: “I own stock in bofa. Some is in my 401k, and I like to trade BAC every day. I also indirectly lend to them.”

The incident sheds light on one possible risk of using social networking as a CRM tool: What if a fraudster duped consumers into turning over personal information? BofA would not comment on the incident, nor would it discuss its social networking security policy.

BofA’s misadventure is strikingly similar to Shaquille O’Neal’s experience with Twitter. Like BofA, Shaq was “brand-jacked” by an imposter who mimicked Shaq’s speech patterns, tweeting faux Shaqisms like “As the son of Jor-El, it’s in my nature to help others and save the universe” (the real Shaq actually says stuff like that). When word of the imposter reached the basketball star, Shaq started Tweeting himself, and has since told interviewers that he considers it a fun way to connect with fans.

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