Scammers use Thomas Cook collapse to steal information

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Warnings have been issued over phone and email scams arising after the collapse of the British travel firm Thomas Cook.

The firm officially ceased trading in the early hours of Monday 23rd September 2019. Since then several reports of calls from scammers claiming to be “Thomas Cook Refund Agents” have been reported and we caution everyone to stay vigilant.

The scammers say they are calling to process a refund from the recipient’s recent holiday (regardless of whether they have actually been on holiday recently!). They then ask for credit or debit card details so they can refund the recipient.

Be aware, this is a scam.

While some genuine banks are contacting their customers with questions regarding Thomas Cook, a real organisation will never ask you for your credit/debit card details and will instead take you through formal security procedures.

If you think you have given a scammer your details

  • Contact your bank immediately
  • Report the scam to them, giving them as many details as you can
  • Ask for your money back (some good advice can be found here)

This is nothing new, scammers have used large-scale disasters and events covered heavily by the press as vehicles of social engineering for years.

At Phishing Tackle, we have already created a simulated phishing template based on the Thomas Cook collapse. This may seem insensitive but our aim is to educate our clients on the dangers of social engineering and help them to reduce cyber risk. While neither option is ideal, if we have to choose between a client being offended over us using potentially insensitive material or that same client becoming a victim of a severely damaging phishing attack, we’ll take option one.

These types of attacks underline the genuine need for phishing and security awareness training. Learn to spot these attacks before becoming a victim to one, you may be surprised just how affordable it is.