If you have a beef with a company’s customer service department, it’s not advisable to vent your frustration on X, formerly known as Twitter. Doing so could make you a scam target.
Here’s why: Once you’ve made the post you might get a response from the company, saying it wants to make things right. That’s not so unexpected since companies are very sensitive to criticism on social media.
Only the response is not from the company, it’s from a scammer who is setting you up. The response apologizes for the inconvenience and asks for a contact number to reach you through WhatsApp.
If you provide a number, the “customer service rep” calls and says they can help you get a refund but to do so, they need your bank account information. That’s the trap, though it might be hard to see if you aren’t alert and cautious.
Being a little suspicious can be a good thing
The Guardian reports the case of one consumer who nearly fell into the trap but became suspicious when he was told he would need to download an app. Before taking any action the consumer checked the sender’s X profile and noticed the account was set up the month before.
He also noted there was an unexpected hyphen in the Twitter handle. When he used Caller ID to check the WhatsApp number, he found it was registered in Kenya.
Scammers posing as customer service agents on social media often claim to be from a bank or airline, since financial services and airlines seem to draw the most complaints. In this particular case, the scammer claimed to be a representative of travel site Booking.com.
The weekly ConsumerAffairs-Trend Micro Threat Alert finds imposter scams using Booking.com have been among the most common travel scams this summer. Between April 1 and August 13, the Trend Micro research team identified 2,673 travel-related scam URLs, which increased by 19.1% compared to the past weeks.
Trend Micro found one fake Booking.com and two fake Airbnb pages, with over one-third of the victims from Oregon.
If you take your complaint about customer service to social media, be aware that you could be a scam target. Don’t assume that any response you get is really from the company.
It’s best to be persistent and continue to deal with the company directly through its customer service contact information on its website.