It didn’t take long for someone to take advantage of Twitter’s new verification feature, which allows users to pay $8 per month for a blue checkmark.
A verified account pretending to be LeBron James fooled some NBA fans on Wednesday. Despite tweeting from the handle @KINGJamez, the blue check alongside a duplicate of LeBron’s current profile picture was enough to whip users into a frenzy after the parody account announced LBJ was requesting a trade from the Los Angeles Lakers, seemingly back to the Cavs.
“I am officially requesting a trade,” the bogus tweet read. “Thank you #LakersNation for all the support through the years. Onto bigger and better things! #ThekidfromAKRON #ImComingHome”
LeBron wasn’t the only sports figure who fell victim to Twitter’s new feature. Another account, which claimed to be NFL insider Adam Schefter, falsely stated that the Las Vegas Raiders had fired head coach Josh McDaniels.
Both accounts have since been suspended, which is what Twitter’s new CEO Elon Musk threatened would happen should someone impersonate another individual without explicitly identifying as a parody account.