Fraudsters are sending out fake Sainsbury’s and Topshop voucher deals through WhatsApp that appear to have been sent by a trusted contact.
The fake WhatsApp messages appear as if they have been sent by someone in your contacts – such as a friend or family member.
However the recipient name is actually fake and is designed to trick you into clicking on the URL to claim the alleged Sainsbury’s or Topshop voucher.
One example message reads: “Hey have you heard about this? Sainsbury’s is giving away £100 gift cards (with a convincing looking link to a fake website). They are expanding their store network and they launched this promotion. Grab a gift card while it lasts. I got mine already”.
If you click on the convincing looking URL you will be taken to a fake website designed to trick you into handing over personal information.
According to security researchers, once you click on the malicious link fraudsters also collect personal information from your device by installing cookies on your phone that track you, or add browser extensions that can be used to show you advertisements.
Sainsbury’s have confirmed that they are aware of the fake offers, and are “advising customers to delete the message”.
How to protect yourself
- Install security software on your device and keep it up to date.
- Never click on unsolicited links in messages that you that receive, even if they appear to come from a trusted contact.
- Follow WhatsApp’s advice for staying safe whilst using the messaging service.
Earlier this year, users were also warned about upgrading to a WhatsApp ‘Gold’ account.
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Be Cyber Streetwise is a cross-government campaign, funded by the National Cyber Security Programme. They aim to measurably and significantly improve the online safety behaviour and confidence of consumers and small businesses (SMEs).
Get Safe Online is the UK’s leading source of factual and easy-to-understand information on online safety. Their website offers advice on how you can protect yourself, your computers and devices, and your business against the likes of fraud, identity theft, viruses and other potential online problems.
ThinkUKnow is a national website which offers tailored advice to young people about online safety concerns. There is also a section on there if you are a parent/carer or a teacher who is concerned about a young person’s safety online.