A scam Whatsapp message offering you the chance to win a free crate of beer in time for Father’s Day is spreading like wildfire – so make sure you don’t click on it!
The rogue text asks you to enter a ‘competition’ by tapping on a link, which instead takes you to a ‘phishing page’ or other malicious website.
The scam is particularly disturbing as it can look like the message is from one of your contacts.
The alarm was raised by anti-cybercrime community onlinethreatalerts , who said: “The Heineken Whatsapp scam, which claims to be giving away free Heinekens, is circulating on social media like wildfire.
“Recipients are asked not to follow the instructions in it.
“The scam tricks potential victims into visiting phishing, spam, and malicious websites that steal personal information, and account credentials.
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“The scam may also trick potential victims into signing up for unwanted services.”
The WhatsApp message displays on your phone as if it is from a contact, such as a friend or family member.
The text displays an 18-bottle “cooler pack” of Heineken, with a message claiming that 5,000 such crates are up for grabs, accompanied by a link.
If you click on this link, you are asked to share the competition with up to 20 contacts before being asked to fill in your delivery details.
Anyone who clicks on the message is then tricked into visiting a phishing and malicious website capable of stealing personal information and account credentials.
“If the link in the fake post is clicked, potential victims will be taken to the fraudulent website,” onlinethreatalerts said.
“The website is being used in phishing and scamming campaigns which are set up by cybercriminals.”
Heineken confirmed the competition was fake and advised people not to respond to it.
On Twitter, the Dutch beer giant posted: “This is a scam. Please don’t click on links or forward any messages. Many thanks.”
Readers may remember a similar such scam in 2020, where people were offered ‘free kegs of Heineken beer’.
The company then had to issue a statement warning people that it was a trick.
If you are concerned you may have fallen for this or any other scam, you should immediately contact your bank.
Following that you should contact ActionFraud at actionfraud.police.uk.
Their phone number is 0300 1232040.