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Beware of complaint scammers on Twitter! They pretend to be big companies and target users’ private data

Beware of complaint scammers on Twitter! They pretend to be big companies and target users’ private data
  • A scammer pretending to be from Virgin Media sent a direct message to an individual who had raised a complaint against Virgin Media on Twitter.
  • The scam attempt was reported to Twitter and it suspended the scammer’s account.

Recently, a complaint was raised against the internet service provider Virgin Media on Twitter. While the complainant was waiting for the company's response, a scammer attempted to take advantage of the situation. The scammer sent a direct message to the complainant in order to get their personal information.

What happened?

Albert Mabbitt, Director of Findus Information Security, UK tweeted to Virgin Media complaining about the broken Internet. A scammer pretending to be from Virgin Media sent a direct message to him.

Mabbit found out the scam attempt as he received two messages, one from the Official Virgin Media in a public message and the other from the scammer in his direct message.

“Yesterday whilst complaining to Virgin Media about my broken internet I encountered a very interesting scam attempt. Within minutes of posting a complaint I got two replies; one from Virgin Media themselves in a public message and another from somebody purporting to be from Virgin Media in my DM’s,” Mabbitt wrote, LatestHackingNews reported.

How was the scam attempt recognized?

Mabbit observed that the scammer’s account was @virgincmedia which was slightly different from the Official Virgin Media account. He further noted that the account was created on January 2019 and had no followers.

This clearly suggested that it was a fake account and the scammer had created the account to target unsuspicious users. Mabbit then realized that the scammer was watching for keywords and sending a reply to unsuspecting users to run his scam.

What did Mabbit do after realizing the scam attempt?

Mabbit attempted to test the scammer by giving his name as Wade Wilson and address as London Metropolitan Police. The scammer didn't realize the test and proceeded to ask for payment details such as payment card number and expiry date for security purposes.

Mabbit provided test details via PayPal and set up a link to capture the scammer’s IP address. He attempted to persuade the scammer to click the link, however, the scammer refused.

Mabbitt then set up a fake Error 522 SMS message and the scammer took the bait. Once the message was sent, Mabbit got a hit on the web server. He used this to report the account to Twitter which was then suspended. He also reported the incident to the UK police.

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