Garry O’Connor falls victim of fake Twitter account

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FORMER Hibernian striker Garry O’Connor has fallen victim to a fake Twitter account which suggested he approved of coin-throwing at rivals.

A tweet posted by the bogus “O’Connor” said it would be acceptable for fans to throw coins at Hearts player Rudi Skacel.

The fake tweeter posted the message after the Manchester United defender Rio Ferdinand was hit by a coin during a derby match at the weekend.

 

Garry O’Connor used to play for Hibernian as a striker before moving to Russian club Tom Tomsk

 

 

The tweet on the fake account read: “The Manchester derby was class today! Some atmosphere! Feel sorry 4 @rioferdy5 getting hit by a coin… wouldn’t wish that on anyone apart from Skacel!”

The account has now been closed after the hoaxer was revealed by one of his 5500 followers.

Martin Reilly, who represents O’Connor, said: “Garry has never had a Twitter account. I’ve had this conversation with him a number of times but the guy just doesn’t do Twitter.

“These fake accounts really are distasteful and I fail to see what the people behind them get from it all. Be assured that we will be speaking with lawyers and relevant authorities.”

The phony tweeter was able to befriend friends and family of the genuine Garry, who currently plays for Russian side Tom Tomsk.

The hoaxer was able to access personal photographs, adding to the credible look of the profile.

Legitimate followers included current Hibs player Leigh Griffiths and shamed Hearts star Craig Thomson.

The fake tweeter’s cover was blown on Monday after he was challenged by user Anon Sco, who claimed to be O’Connor’s lawyer, and warned: “Advise you remove this Twitter page immediately as a representative of Mr O’Connor, police are investigating.”

Within minutes, a panicked string of apologetic messages appeared on the O’Connor account.

One read: “Sorry to @RudiSkacel51 for my tweets. I wish you the best and success in your career.”

The tweeter also said sorry to ex-Hearts boss Paulo Sergio, before adding: “This account is a parody. Sorry to all that I’ve offended in anyway.”

A rising number of fake accounts have forced Twitter to launch a verification scheme which sees celebrities issued with a “blue tick”.

Social media expert Kate Bussman said: “What you usually see are parody accounts rather than someone actually pretending to be someone else, as these type of accounts are usually spotted quite quickly.

“This Garry O’Connor account does sound sinister, though, given the extent of the everyday tweets and the posting of family pictures.”

 

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