A Twitter account belonging to an NHS executive has been hacked by a scammer trying to sell fake PS5 consoles.
According to a report from the BBC, Helen Bevan had both of her Twitter accounts hacked, and a following of 133,000 people turned over to a scammer. Bevan is the chief transformation officer for NHS horizons.
The hackers initially gained access to her professional account, and the account of her cat who was described as a “local celebrity”. All her previous tweets were deleted, and the scammers unfollowed everyone from both accounts.
The accounts were renamed “Supply PS5”, and engaged in promoting fake PS5 sales through Fleets and direct messages, with PlayStation consoles being advertised for around £320.
The hack came the day before an important event, in which Twitter was being used as a discussion tool, with her at the forefront. In an attempt to restore her accounts quickly, Bevan paid a volunteer £110 to unlock them, not realising this was also coming from a scammer.
“I don’t think he did anything, he kept sending me films of computer files whirring, saying this is me doing your work,” she said.
“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 handed her accounts back, but she was unable to get the £110 back, and now has to rebuild her network.
Bevan claims the scammers were able to access her account due to her not enabling two-factor authentication, and is now using this as a warning to others.
“There are things I now know that I wish I’d known – everybody should have two-factor authentication, it’s absolutely critical that you put that on,” she said.
“Also, under no circumstances, even if you’re desperate, do not go to one of these services that claim they’ll get your account back in 30 minutes and stuff – I think they’re likely to be a scammer.
“The only thing you can do is go through Twitter. Do it one step at a time.”
It is unknown at this time whether anyone exchanged money with the scammer for PS5 consoles, but Bevan reported messaging many who had DMed the account to inform them they had been scammed.