Twitter has been blasted for its “dawdling” response to a scam which targeted NatWest customers in an effort to get them to hand over their personal details.
The fake Twitter profile, which masqueraded as the bank’s genuine Twitter feed, provided customers with a link so they could have their questions answered at “the offical NatWest site”.
However, unbeknown to customers, these sites were bogus too, and were set up to purloin personal data.
The high street bank first spotted the issue at the end of August and notified Twitter immediately; it then notified the web hosting company which was hosting the rogue sites. These were taken down immediately, although they soon reappeared on a different server.
But it was only when Telegraph Money contacted Twitter that the bogus social media account was taken offline. Twitter refused to explain why it took so long to respond, saying it did not “comment on individual accounts for privacy and security reasons”. But one industry source said: “How come a web hosting company can take a rogue website down within hours but it takes Twitter nearly a week? It’s ridiculous. You have to wonder whether it would still be dawdling now if it hadn’t been for media interest.”
For its part, NatWest claimed it was not aware of any customers falling for the scam, although it did acknowledge that it would be difficult to identify victims anyway.
A NatWest spokesman commented: “Fake Twitter accounts usually ask people to click through to a website in an attempt to steal their personal details. If we find a fake account we work quickly to have these websites taken down and report the accounts to Twitter so they can be suspended.”
To leave a comment please register – it takes less than a minute and is free of charge. You will also get our weekly email update The DM Report (to opt out contact email@example.com). If you are an existing user, please log in. If you have forgotten your log-in details please email firstname.lastname@example.org to get them reset!