A NHS executive was scammed whilst trying to regain control of her hacked Twitter account. Of all people, PlayStation 5 resellers were to blame.
Helen Bevan, a veteran executive of Britain’s National Health Service (NHS), had her Twitter account hijacked by PlayStation 5 resellers. The cyber thieves took control of her Twitter as well as her cat’s account, in total gaining 133k followers.
The hackers proceeded to delete all Bevan’s prior tweets and gave the accounts a facelift, making it seem like a buy-and-sell marketplace for the elusive next-gen console. Prices for the Playstation 5s started at £320 (AUD$ 575).
The hacking took place 24 hours before Bevan was set to lead an online event where Twitter would house most of the discussion.
Bevan quickly realised she had lost control of her social media account and immediately contacted her friends and Twitter support. As expected, Twitter support wasn’t as quick to fix the situation as Bevan’s had hoped. Messages of support and others offering help poured into her associates’ DMs. One message said she could have her account back in 25 minutes for a fee of £110 (AUD$200).
With her back now against the wall and the feeling of desperation setting in, she trusted the stranger. Bevan paid the mysterious helper to remove the PlayStation 5 resellers from her account, however things did not go as smoothly as she hoped. Bevans told the BBC the following:
“I don’t think he did anything, he kept sending me films of computer files whirring, saying this is me doing your work.”
“Then he said he had got it back, but Twitter had changed the verification and he needed an extra $100, then he wanted a service charge… they prey on desperate people.”
Eventually, Twitter came to the rescue and booted the hackers out of her account. Bevan’s attributes her mishaps to her own mistakes, stating that she should have had two-factor authentication (2FA) enabled.
At this time it is unknown how many people the PlayStation 5 bandits were able to scam from Bevan’s account. She is apparently still receiving messages today, asking her where their PS5 is. Not with her, that’s for sure.