Fake Asda, Tesco and Marks & Spencer vouchers are being sent out by fraudsters on WhatsApp, Action Fraud has warned.
The message, which has been sent to several staff members at Mirror Online , reads: “Hello, ASDA is giving away £250 Free Voucher to celebrate 68th anniversary, go here to get it … Enjoy and thanks me later!”
The message looks like it has been sent from an actual contact, but the recipient name is fake.
It is designed to trick people into clicking on the URL to claim the fake voucher.
The retailer is not giving out £250 vouchers and the only semblance of truth is that the superstore is, indeed, 68-years-old.
There are two tell-tale signs the scam is fake:
- Firstly, the spelling and grammar mistakes
- And, if you manually type in the supposed url mentioned in the offer ( http://www.asda.com/mycoupon ), you will see that the page does not exist on Asda.
But Action Fraud warns if you click on the URL you are taken to a fake website designed to trick you into handing over personal information.
Worse, once you click fraudsters can 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.
The scam uses remarkably similar wording to a string of Facebook scams that offered people free flights and another for supermarket vouchers.
Earlier this year ActionFraud also warned that fraudsters were tricking WhatsApp users into downloading a fake version of “WhatsApp Gold” which infected Android devices with malware.
How to protect yourself
Action Fraud has the following tips for staying safe from WhatsApp scams:
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.
To report a fraud and cyber crime and receive a police crime reference number, call Action Fraud on 0300 123 2040 or use its online fraud reporting tool .