A warning has been issued by ActionFraud over fake Sainsbury’s and Topshop voucher deals which are reaching WhatsApp users.
The fake messages appear as if they have been sent by a trusted contact, such as a friend or family member.
However, the sender name is actually fake, luring the unsuspecting user into believing that the URL in the message is also genuine.
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.”
Clicking on the URL takes the recipient to a fake website, designed to lure the user into handing over personal information.
Security experts say that the fraudsters can also extract personal information by installing cookies, or add browser extensions that will show advertisements.
Sainsbury’s have confirmed that they are aware of the fake offers, and are “advising customers to delete the message”.
Earlier this year fraudsters were attempting to trick WhatsApp users into downloading a fake version of “WhatsApp Gold” which infected Android devices with malware.
Actionfraud has offered the following information on how to protect yourself online.
- 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 - https://www.whatsapp.com/faq/en/general/21197244