If you’ve ever used social media to make a complaint about a company, you’d know that many organizations are quick to respond to this public expression. But have you ever stopped to question whether the account responding to your concern is really someone from the company?

Recently, fraudsters have taken to social media platforms to trick people into falling for their “help” and giving away their personal information. For example, a woman was upset with her broadband services so she took to Twitter to complain about her provider. She promptly received a response from an account appearing to be the customer service team for this company. The “customer service team” was able to gain personal information, and even banking information from her by using lines like: “I’m having trouble locating your account” and “I’ll first need to ask you a security question”. The woman soon found her bank account emptied out and several loans taken out under her name.
Clearly, this customer service team wasn’t helping anyone aside from themselves.

Remember the following to protect yourself:

  • Never trust that an account is legitimate based on their Twitter “handle”, or any other “name” on social media. Just because the company name is present, doesn’t make it valid.
  • A legitimate organization would never ask you for sensitive data like your bank account information. If it sounds like a strange request, then it probably is.
  • If you’re having trouble with a product or service, log in to your account or reach out to their customer support channels, yourself. Never trust a response you receive after making a public complaint on social media or anywhere else online.

Stop, Look, and Think. Don't be fooled.