Despite a recent cyber-crackdown, WeChat is still plagued by fake brand accounts. To help customers differentiate between fake and official brand accounts, WeChat has inserted a yellow check mark near the thumbnail picture of the verified brand account to prove that it’s the real deal. That’s the case with Starbucks.
But life isn’t simple *sigh*. Things get a little bit more complicated, for example, when you start searching for LV (Louis Vuitton), Tech in Asia explains:
[It] shows dozens of results – in fact, we stopped counting at 100. Confusingly, many of these are verified with the yellow symbol. But, in this case, those apparently verified and authenticated accounts are not the true LV account and are in fact related to online sellers of LV bags and other (possibly counterfeit) luxury items. So that means the impostors have not only been approved by Tencent but have also been issued with a verified badge. That makes WeChat verification meaningless and exposes users of the social app to potential fraud from these scurrilous accounts.
[Even worst,] some of the fake LV accounts have put the yellow ‘verified’ badge inside their thumbnail picture, which makes it look like they’re verified when they’re not. It’s a cunning trompe l’oeil that’s barely discernible without a magnifying glass.
The fake accounts seem to thrive because the QR code works so well for WeChat that Tencent has neglected the users who search brands by name on its app.
LV will hopefully put an end to this, like it did with Taobao. Keep an eye out, kids.
By Aliaume Leroy