Tycoon tackles Twitter fraud

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Kjell Inge Røkke may be one of Norway’s most high-profile business tycoons, but he doesn’t tweet. In other words, he’s not inclined to share his thoughts by sending short messages over the social media service Twitter. Now Røkke’s powerful organization has asked Twitter to trash an account that Røkke claims was fraudulently set up in his name.

Kjell Inge Røkke apparently has no intention of setting up a Twitter account himself. PHOTO: Views and News

It was newspaper Dagens Næringsliv (DN) that made Røkke aware of the Twitter account that has been sending out tweets (messages) in Røkke’s name since September. The messages seem to have been written by someone making fun of Røkke’s wealth, and his tendency to show it off.

Pretending to be Røkke, the person behind @kjellingerokke sent out, for example, the following message on December 24 (translated from Norwegian): “In order for Christmas Dinner to be perfect, my cooks started making food a month ago. Hope it will be finished in time!”

According to another sent on December 28: “On New Year’s Eve, I’ll send up rockets that have diamonds in them. They glitter so nicely, the garden will be decorated with diamonds.”

And another: “For the children, I bought a golden TV. It’s important to buy something you like yourself…”

The Twitter account in Røkke’s name features a photo of him and it’s issued no less than 125 so-called “tweets” since September 5, according to DN. It also has around 300 followers.

Atle Kigen, communications director for the large Aker industrial concern that Røkke controls, told DN that Røkke didn’t know someone had set up a Twitter account in his name and sent out dozens of messages that seemed to come from him until DN called to ask about it. “We hadn’t heard about this,” Kigen told DN. “Thanks to DN for making us aware that someone is exploiting the name of Kjell Inge Røkke.”

Kigen said Aker had since sent a real message to Twitter to remove the fraudulent account. Røkke clearly isn’t interested in joining other Norwegian business celebrities like hotel investor Petter Stordalen and tobacco heir and investor Johan H Andresen in using Twitter to spread their musings.

Asked whether Røkke had any plans to open an authentic Twitter account himself, Kigen said “not that I’ve heard of. Kjell Inge Røkke doesn’t tweet.”

Views and News from Norway/Nina Berglund

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