Rip Off Britain: Lois recalls losing £900 in WhatsApp scam
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Scammers will do anything they can to take people’s money, and it seems the latest attempt is to use the beer brand Heineken and create a fake competition for Father’s Day. Heineken has spoken out against the fake competition currently circulating on WhatsApp and urges anyone who receives the message to “delete it immediately”.
The scam offers people the chance to win one of 5,000 coolers full of lager and links to a fake quiz-style competition.
The message features an image of an 18-pack cooler of Heineken.
The caption reads: ‘Heineken Beer Father’s Day Contest 2022’.
Underneath the image and headline is the phrase ‘5,000 coolers full of Heineken for you Dad’ along with a written link to the beer brand’s official website ‘heineken.com’.
Heineken has said this is a phishing scam – a way of tricking someone into clicking a malicious link or entering personal information like bank details.
A spokesperson for Heineken said: “We’re aware of the current phishing scam circulating through social networks, which is not sanctioned by Heineken.
“We have alerted the relevant authorities, and urge people who do receive this message to delete it immediately.”
Scam alert website onlinethreatalerts.com, said the scam is circulating on social media like “wildfire” hoping to trick potential victims.
Wales Online reports the use of the link lures people into visiting phishing, spam, and malicious websites that have the potential to steal personal information and account credentials.
The scam may also trick potential victims into signing up for unwanted services.
The site goes on to warn that people will be taken to one of these fraudulent websites if they click the link in the fake post.
Consumer rights group Which? said people should “always be suspicious of a message from an unknown number, no matter how tempting the offer may be”.
“Never click on links in messages as scammers can use URLs to download malware onto your device or take you to a website that will try to steal your personal and bank details,” it added about the Heineken scam on its website.
Anyone who has clicked a suspicious link who thinks they might have given details away should contact their bank immediately and report the scam to Action Fraud.
“If you receive a random text or WhatsApp message from a brand that you discover is fraudulent, open up the WhatsApp chat from the unknown number, open the sender’s contact details and select Block and Report,” Which? suggests.
Suspicious text messages can also be reported to 7726, a free spam reporting service, as well as to the company the text was claiming to be from.
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