Westfield City Councilor says fake candidate Twitter account discovered

WESTFIELD, Mass. (WWLP) – A Westfield City Councilor says someone tried to impersonate candidates with fake profiles on social media.

If it happens to you, you can tell Twitter or Facebook to remove it. But that takes time, and by then, the damage is already done.

“There have been instances of fake accounts coming into my Facebook,” claimed Candidate for Westfield City Council Matt Emmershy.

It’s a Westfield mystery. City Councilor Dan Allie claims somebody may have created fake social media profiles to slander two city council candidates.

“These unsubstantiated rumors scare people,” said Allie. Allie says he was questioned why he supported candidates Matt Emershy and Mark Butler after allegations that one supported reckless spending cuts and posted disturbing comments.

“When I investigated that I found out that there was a fake Twitter account that was taken down on September 29th,” explain Allie.

Northeast IT told 22News how easy it is to impersonate someone online.

“Fantastically easy. With your pictures, especially if you are in public service if you for example won the lottery like we saw with the lottery winner. If your picture is out there then someone can just take a snapshot of that picture and make a dummy account and no one will ever know,” said Chris Bovino, a Systems Engineer at Northeast IT.

It happened with Chicopee’s Powerball jackpot winner Mavis Wanczyk.

Experts recommend you keep your photos private to make it harder for an impersonator to find your image.
Keep your passwords strong. Letters, numbers and special characters should be used, along with two-factor authentication to send a code to your phone.

It’s also recommended you log off all your social media accounts at work.