WHATSAPP users have been warned about a new scam text message, which claims to include a £100 voucher from Sainsbury’s – here is what to do if you receive the hoax text, and how to protect yourself from the scam.
WhatsApp users in the UK are being warned about a new scam message that claims to contain details about a free £100 voucher from supermarket firm Sainsbury’s.
The scam messages appears as if it has 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 WhatsApp users into trusting the web address for the alleged £100 Sainsbury’s voucher.
The messages reads: “Hey have you heard about this?
“Sainsbury’s is giving away £100 gift cards. They are expanding their store network and they launched this promotion.
“Grab a gift card while its lasts. I got mine already.” (sic)
The scam message asks users to follow a link to the web for the Sainsbury’s voucher
Although the URL listed in the text appears to direct users to Sainsbury’s website, it is a scam webpage designed to trick WhatsApp users into handing over personal information.
The malicious link will install cookies on the victim’s smartphone, or download a browser extension which can be used to serve more adverts to them – generating revenue for the cybercriminals behind the text messages, according to security researchers.
ESET security specialist Mark James told Express.co.uk: “Sadly people still fall for these types of scams, they are tricked and teased into following a link from their favourite social media app without actually recognising the dangers.
“They are usually presented with an offer of freebies with little or no effort on their own behalf.
“Once on the page all manner of malware could potentially await them, this could include but is not limited to potential phishing attacks to obtain your personal or private information, installation of malware, harvesting your details for spam attacks or displaying inappropriate pictures or videos.”