A new scam targeting WhatsApp users in the UK is one of the most well-designed ones we have seen yet. The scam has most likely already affected hundreds of users with more potential victims on the way.
Message-based scams are a dime a dozen but they are usually designed in an obvious way that makes it incredibly easy to see that they are fraudulent. This scam, however, looks more legit than usual.
When taking a look at the image above, you may initially not notice what’s wrong with the link in the message. On closer inspection, you may notice that the d in asda has been replaced with a similar-looking letter that is nevertheless different.
Users who might not have noticed the difference would have been taken to a page that looked almost exactly like the official page for the ASDA supermarkets. There, they would have been asked to enter their financial information in order to get the £250 voucher.
The scam, of course, did not end there. Once the users had completed entering their personal details, they were asked to share a similar message with 20 more of their contacts. Apparently, that was the last step in order to get the voucher.
Receiving a message like that from one of your trusted friends or family might be enough to convince some people that the link is legitimate without thinking twice. Of course, some users might have seen similar suspicious behaviour in the past, which means that they would think twice about opening the link.
Unfortunately, merely opening the link in some phones is enough to infect the device with malware. Then, the scammers might be able to get financial information from the phone or, in a best case scenario, they might be able to send unsolicited messages to any contact.
Scams like these are unfortunately very common and will only happen with an increasing frequency as more parts of the world become connected to the Internet. The only way to avoid being a victim is to be educated but many people will have no idea about them until it’s already too late.
You should always keep the following things in mind:
- If you get an unsolicited message, feel free to ignore it.
- If you get a message or an email containing a link, don’t open it directly.
- Always visit the official websites and navigate from there.
These three simple things are enough to prevent 99.99% of scams. If you have any questions or would like to know more about avoiding things like this, please drop a comment below and we’ll get back to you!