Twitter users are no strangers to receiving spam tweets about trending topics, but spammers are becoming more sophisticated. As reported by TechCrunch, Twitter users are starting to get spam that gives them an @ mention and tells them to watch or read something.

This method takes advantage of the fact that Twitter users love being mentioned in a tweet and will naturally want to see what they’re being referred to. It also relies on shortened urls to hide the true url being promoted.

Unfortunately, we’re all going to come into contact with some questionable characters from time to time, both in the real and virtual world. Of course, it can be harder to judge people online, without the usual audio and visual cues that we depend on. We’re also likely to have more encounters of this kind online, due to the sheer amount of interaction that takes place there.

If someone you’ve never tweeted before, and that you don’t follow, sends you a link via twitter, keep in mind that this person is a stranger and that by clicking on the link you are effectively welcoming them into your home (for home read computer). Take precautions to try and protect against tricks as you would when meeting a stranger.

If using Firefox, use ‘NoScript’ on a website until you trust it, employ similar means on IE and Chrome. Ensure you have the latest update on your operating system, browser and anti-malware installed.

Don’t forget, if you receive a suspicious tweet you can always block and report the user for spam.