Hacker posts scam call for donations for disabled people from Imran Riaz Khan’s Twitter account

Journalist Imran Riaz Khan’s Twitter account was hacked and a misleading tweet directed readers to a PayPal page for payment

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Claim: Journalist Imran Riaz Khan is collecting donations online to help disabled people in Pakistan.

Fact: Imran Riaz Khan’s Twitter account was hacked and a PayPal scam was shared through a tweet. The journalist uploaded a video warning people not to interact with his account or make any donations. 

On 30 July 2022, journalist Imran Riaz Khan tweeted a PayPal link and asked his audience to donate money for the charitable cause of helping “disabled” people in Pakistan. The tweet did not name the charity and contained a stock image of a gathering of children in wheelchairs. 

The account closed replies to this tweet, but it still reached his 3.5 million followers on the platform. Soch Fact Check decided to verify the authenticity of Khan’s alleged plea for donations. 

Fact or Fiction?

We looked at Khan’s Twitter profile and the last original tweet prior to the one in question was posted on 28 July 2022; that tweet pertained to Khan’s alleged negotiations with the Pakistan Democratic Movement. 

On 29 July 2022, Twitter user, Junaid Yousaf Sheikh (@Psigho) posted a 16-second video clip of Imran Riaz Khan in which the politician stated his Twitter account has been hacked and warned people not to interact with his account or believe any information shared on it. 

Soch Fact Check also reached out to Imran Riaz Khan to confirm whether this video was indeed made by him to respond to the current situation and ask whether his account has indeed been hacked. He confirmed that his account was hacked and that he uploaded the video on Twitter in order to inform his followers. 

Screenshot of Soch Fact Check’s correspondence with journalist Imran Riaz Khan confirming the facts laid out in the article.

Virality

Soch Fact Check conducted a CrowdTangle analysis for the 3-day period from 27 July 2022 to 30 July 2022 using the following search terms:

  • “Imran” “riaz” “hacked”

On Twitter we found that several Twitter users were reporting a hack to Twitter and some were wondering what had happened to Imran Riaz Khan’s Twitter account. Examples can be found here, here, here, here, here, here, here and here. These tweets reached over 315,093 people and gathered over 4,500 interactions.  

Conclusion: Journalist Imran Riaz Khan tweeted a link to a page for donations to help disabled people in Pakistan. However, the call for donations is not authentic. Khan’s Twitter account was hacked for a few days and the hacker appears to have posted a PayPal scam from his account. 

 

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