This week, people all over the UK have been receiving messages from friends or family over WhatsApp telling them to click on a link to receive £100 worth of gift cards. This is in fact one of the latest scams to target WhatsApp users, as the messages will likely come from trusted contacts. Commenting, Lee Munson, security researcher for Comparitech.com said:
“So, you received a message from ‘Sainsbury’ via WhatsApp, offering you the chance to win a gift card in return for answering a survey.
“Before you click on that link, however, stop and think for a moment.
“While it is unlikely you will win any competition you enter in the first place, messages such as these are often far darker than they first appear.
“Firstly, they are almost never affiliated with the company mentioned in the tagline – they are sent by ‘chancers’ hoping you’ll complete a survey and earn them a few pennies in the process.
“Secondly, you have no idea which website the link will be taking you to.
“Will the site you land on collect your personal information, install invasive cookies on your machine, add an annoying extension to your browser so it can pepper you with advertising in the future? Or will it be old-school and just infect you with a virus or some other nasty type of malware?
“The thing is, you just don’t know.
“To protect yourself from this type of ruse, you could install security software – never a bad idea – or, better yet, just employ some good judgement and never click on links to these types of sites, especially if asked to do so by someone who just sent you an unsolicited message.”