Many people are unaware of the term “angler phishing,” which is a type of scam that first appeared in 2015, but has become much more prevalent recently. Angler phishing begins when someone, upset with the service they received at a company with which they do business, such as their local bank or Amazon posts an angry comment about their experience on social media such as Facebook or Twitter. Quite soon thereafter, they receive a response that appears to be from the company about which they complained offering to help them with their problem. The account name appears to be legitimate and has been set up by scammers well in advance in order to be ready when a potential victim appears. The response from the scammer attempts to lure the now targeted victim into clicking on a link in order to communicate directly with a customer service person for the company. Unfortunately, merely clicking on the link can result in the victim downloading malware such as ransomware or keystroke logging malware that can lead to identity theft. Alternatively, in some instances, the “customer service” person asks for personal information in order to straighten out the problem and uses that information for purposes of identity theft.
While some forms of social media have procedures for you to check on the legitimacy of someone claiming to be a representative of a company or business, the better alternative is to not respond to any communications you receive through social media claiming to be customer service people for a company or business with which you have had a problem. The far better course of action is to go directly to the website of the company or business at an address that you know is correct and find out how to access their customer service. As I have written about in earlier Scams of the day, another customer service scam involves people using Google or another search engine to locate a customer service telephone number for a company only to find that the telephone number provided in a Google or other search engine search is that of a scammer. Some companies, particularly social media companies do not have telephone numbers for customer service.
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