Thursday 5 January 2017

Are You: Complaining To Your Bank On Twitter? Watch Out As Crooks Now Target Customers Affected By Technical Glitches


Crooks are targeting Twitter users who complain to their bank about technical glitches and problems.

The criminals lurk on the social media platform waiting to strike when a bank suffers a technical problem, conning unaware customers into handing over their financial details.

The scammers set up fake Twitter accounts posing as customer service staff from banks.

They then tweet customers directly and ask them to click on a link, directing them to a website which is similar to their bank’s.

Unwitting customers then enter their bank log in, giving the crooks all the information they need to defraud them.

NatWest bank has admitted that a very small number of customers were subject to such attacks, after it suffered technical problems.

In October, some RBS and NatWest customers were affected by a technical glitch which stopped them from using debit cards – with several bombarding the bank’s customer service team on Twitter for help.

A fake Twitter account was shut down but not before a number of customers had responded to it.

NatWest monitors the social network for activity similar to this and works with Twitter to take down accounts, although this can take a couple of hours.

In the meantime, it works with a company to disable the link. The crooks often create another one in a short amount of time.

If the bank sees a customers has replied or interacted with a faker then it may suspend their online banking temporarily and contact them directly to prevent the crooks from accessing their account.


It confirmed that it has disabled banking for customers less than 10 times in the last six months.

A NatWest spokesperson said: “There are many sophisticated online scams targeting banking customers across the sector. We work closely with the police and crime agencies to try and prevent this crime, and communicate frequently with our customers to offer guidance and warn about specific threats.

“We will never ask a customer for their password, full pin, card details or security information over twitter, over the phone or when they log-in to the banking system online. If any customers are ever worried they have been a victim of a scam they should contact us immediately.”

NatWest isn’t the only bank being targeted by this scam – other customers are at risk too.

Twitter’s rule state that users should not impersonate another person or business in a confusing or deceptive manner.

Accounts that break rules will be suspended under its impersonation policy and anyone suspicious of an account is able to report it directly to Twitter.

“Banks don’t usually ask you to click on links – if you’re in contact with them via Twitter and they need you to do something, they’ll usually ask you to Direct Message them and help you that way, especially if it’s a data sensitive issue.

“If you want to get hold of your bank and you’re unsure about using a Twitter account, use more traditional contact points such as secure messaging in your online banking or even by going into a branch. That way, you can be more sure who it is you’re talking to.”



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