Scammers using Twitter Blue to steal bank passwords. Here's how the scam works
A new financial scam has been unearthed on Twitter which once again shows the downside of distributing the blue checkmark to anyone who wants to pay for the service. Users are being targetted by crooks impersonating banks or banking officials, according to a New York Post report.
When a user posts a complaint related to their bank account by tagging the bank (say @ICICI or @Wellsfargo), the scammer posing as the customer service representative approaches them.
The scamster usually quote tweets the original tweet and gives a helpline number to the user. Once the naive customer takes the bait and calls on the number, the scammer manages to collect private information such as login credentials to get into the user's bank account.
Thanks to Elon Musk's newly launched Twitter Blue subscription service, scammers are able to buy the blue checkmark and trick customers into believing that the particular Twitter account is the legit and official handle of the company.
With Musk announcing the removal of legacy checkmarks soon, the companies will have to quickly apply for Twitter Blue or risk letting customers fall prey to such elaborate scams yet again.
This is not the first instance where Twitter has fallen prey to pranksters and scammers. Last year, after the rollout of the blue checkmark subscription service, a Twitter user impersonating basketball player LeBron James demanded a trade from NBA franchise Los Angeles Lakers.
Similarly, American pharmaceutical giant Eli Lilly lost billions after its stock plunged following a tweet by a fake, verified account posing as the company. The account tweeted that Eli Lilly, one of the largest producers of insulin in the world was selling it for free. Before the error was rectified, over $15 billion in market cap was erased.
“We apologize to those who have been served a misleading message from a fake Lilly account. Our official Twitter account is @LillyPad," the company said in a clarification statement later.
Elon Musk bought Twitter for $44 billion last year but soon found out that the company was red in most financial metrics. To drive up the revenue, Musk launched the $8 verification system which has received a mixed response so far.