Using Twitter to complain to a company about its service can be a swift and effective way of getting results. But beware if the ‘company’ suddenly private messages you – it may not be the genuine article, as one member discovered…
A member told us how they’d been hoodwinked by a fraudster on Twitter, believing they were communicating with the genuine account holder:
‘I was on Twitter with the genuine Virgin Media account, discussing router issues. I then got a private message on Twitter from what I thought to be Virgin Media. It asked security questions, which I answered. The account was bogus and tricked me into giving away my card details. While I chatted to the fraudsters, my bank called to tell me that a large transaction was declined by its system. I cancelled my card on the spot and complained to Virgin.’
Our say on fake Twitter accounts
Banks and broadband providers are being mimicked on Twitter, but they’re not alone.
In November, a fake Twitter account was brazenly set up in the name of Action Fraud, the UK’s fraud-reporting centre. The spoof Action Fraud Twitter account responded to tweets sent from fraud victims, asking for personal details.
You can see if a Twitter account is legitimate by looking for a small blue tick at the end of its name.
If it does have this, it has been verified as being an authentic account by Twitter.
When you’re using Twitter, never give your personal or banking details away by tweet or direct message.
Also, be wary if you’re suddenly messaged directly while you’re tweeting an authentic account, as our member was.
If in doubt, stop the conversation and contact the organisation in question via a phone number you have verified independently.
If the account isn’t genuine, you should contact Twitter to report an account for impersonation.
If you suspect you’ve been a victim of fraud, call your bank right away, then report the matter to Action Fraud on 0300 123 2040.