A fake Rapid City Area Schools Twitter page raises eyebrows

Published: Jan. 21, 2020 at 7:05 PM CST
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When you type in Rapid City Schools on Twitter you expect to only see one account, but you can also see a fake account.

Nathan Belcher is an Information Security Analyst.

"Very easy to create those kind of things. It's easy to create email accounts, it's easy to create anything like Rapid City Schools two or three, you can make it look identical," said Belcher. "You see that in phishing attacks that people send emails, they can make it look like it comes from Amazon."

And this account makes it look like it comes from the Rapid City School District itself, but the district isn't the only one affected by online fraud.

According to a study by the University of Southern California, nearly 48 million Twitter accounts are fake.

And what these fake accounts tweet out could be harmful to families with false information.

Katy Urban is the Community Relations Manager for the Rapid City Area School District.

"When there are messages out there that impact our families and they're from these fake accounts, usually our strategy is to get on all of our platforms and let people know that it isn't accurate," said Urban. "So I think it's important for our families to know that if you are seeing a message on Twitter, you should be seeing it on Facebook, you should be getting an email and a text. We are going to communicate with all those platforms, not just through one source."

And there is nothing that the district can do about these fake accounts.

"You know there isn't really a lot we can do. We do whatever we can to make sure that our social media pages are official, that they have the badges and all those things that they need," said Urban. "You know fortunately the last couple fake accounts I think have been obvious given the content that is on them that it's not us, but if in doubt contact your school, contact me, and we'll let you know."

Making sure to check your sources is key to finding the correct information.