Virgin Media broadband and mobile phone customers across the UK are experiencing problems with their network. But that could only be the start of their troubles. That’s because a rogue Twitter account – pretending to be the official customer service account for the Internet Service Provider (ISP) – has been approaching customers who publicly complain about the outage and requesting payment details from them in order to investigate the problem.
The account, which was set up earlier this month, appears to be approaching a number of Virgin Media customers and asking them to direct message the account – which means they’re able to communicate behind closed door where, presumably, more payment details or personal information will be requested.
The scam account uses the handle @virgsmedia. It has styled its entire profile page to look almost indistinguishable from the real thing – even copying the bio, which reads: “We’re here for the box set bingers, telly ninjas, all-night gamers & biggest streamers. Need help? We’re online Mon-Fri 8am-10pm & 8am-6pm on weekends.”
However, there is only one account following @virgsmedia – one of a number of tell-tale sign that nothing is quite as it seems with this account.
The practice of impersonating a brand, person or company in order to get people to share sensitive data is known as phishing. It can many forms – from fraudulent emails designed to trick you into sending your account details, to fake login portals online that will store the email address and password combination entered by a user.
Virgin Media warns its customers: ”Phishing is a type of online fraud where malicious third parties may send you an email or online message designed to look as if they are from Virgin Media (or any other reputable company) in order to trick you into giving out private information like your username and password or even your bank details.”
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