Police, Fire & Court

WhatsApp users watch out

By Mary Wells

Fraudsters are sending out fake voucher deals through WhatsApp that appear to have been sent by a trusted contact.

The vouchers are alleged to be for Sainsbury’s, Topshop, Marks & Spencer, Tesco, Asda, Nike, Lidl, Aldi, and even Singapore Airlines.

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 voucher.

One example looks like this.

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, sometime in the form of a survey.

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 simply ignore and delete the message.

Sergeant Keith Burke of Merseyside Police says “Please avoid unsolicited links in messages even if they appear to come from a trusted contact. From what we can see, you would have to supply certain details to cause yourself problems, but it would depend on your device as all scams are different and some can download malware onto your device.”