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Viral prank could lock you out of your social media account

Viral prank could lock you out of your social media account
David Watmough | Dreamstime.com

You might think Twitter is just a place where people post Throwback Thursday photos, but it's not. The company recently said that it has over 320 million active monthly users.

That massive audience has turned Twitter into a major source for news and real-time updates around the world. Users are able to spread ideas and trends like wildfire.

Unfortunately, not all of those ideas are winners. Some of them are downright misleading. Like this latest prank that's been tricking people into getting their own account locked.

Sneaky prank spreading on Twitter

There's a prank making the rounds on Twitter, and if you fall for it, you might just get yourself locked out of your account.

This week, random tweets have been spreading that say something along the lines of, if you change your birthday to 2007 in your Twitter account settings, you'll unlock fun new color schemes.

Sounds like a cool Easter egg, right? Well, instead of unlocking something, this prank is causing the opposite to happen.

Here's why: When you change the birthday in your account to 2007, you're alerting Twitter that you're under the age of 13. If you don't know, 13 is the minimum age to have an account. Your account is then automatically flagged and locked.

Posts about the prank have been retweeted thousands of times. And based on many of them over the past few days, people are actually falling for it.

Sounds like it's been just as much a headache for Twitter, too. The prank has apparently become enough of a problem that Twitter decided they should say something about it.

How to unlock your Twitter account

If you happen to be one of the people who were duped by this prank, don't worry. Twitter said they've already sent instructions on what to do next. That involves having to submit a form to reclaim the account.

(Note: Twitter sent impacted users instructions through email. If you haven't seen the email, check your spam folder.)

For those who don't receive a notification, click here to check out Twitter's help center. It will give you different scenarios as to why your account may be locked and how to fix it.

If that sounds like a hassle, it's even worse for some. "Newsweek" referenced a screenshot posted by one of the unlucky who fell for it which basically said, since you're not 13, your account has been locked and will be removed from Twitter. How's that for your new color scheme?

So not only are there no fun colors, some accounts might just be going away for good. It's crazy to know that so many people are being duped. I mean, it's not even April Fool's yet.

If you've ever lost anything of sentimental value, you'll relate to the stories in this podcast. In this Komando on Demand podcast, we share surprising tales about lost cameras and valuable photos that were returned to their owners -- sometimes years later -- and how technology and social media reconnected them.

Tap or click here to listen to these incredible stories, and you can't help but smile.

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