A VIRAL “WhatsApp scam” offering people free Amazon gifts has been declared a hoax.
Experts are now urging WhatsApp users to avoid clicking on any suspicious texts.
A WhatsApp scam is tricking users into filling out surveys for fake prizesCredit: NewsMeter
A recent scam appears to include an Amazon link asking users to fill out a survey.
The reward is an Amazon gift, like a new Huawei Mate 40 Pro 5G smartphone.
But experts say the link is actually a phoney data-harvesting expedition.
Worse still, after handing over your info, you won’t get the promised gift.
The hoax Amazon message reads: “You have been chosen to participate in our survey.
“It will only take you a minute and you will receive a fantastic prize.
The scam uses a legitimate looking Amazon page – but isn’t officialCredit: NewsMeter
“Each Tuesday we randomly choose 100 users to give them a chance to win amazing prizes.
“This survey aims to improve the quality of service for our users and your participation will be rewarded.”
The message is branded with an Amazon logo, and even includes a timer warning the user that they have less than a minute to begin the survey.
More pressure is added by the fact that the prize pool is described as being “limited”.
Sadly for WhatsApp users, no such offer exists.
“We called Amazon customer service and they confirmed that no such offer has been announced by the organisation and that the link is fake,” fact-checking organisation NewsMeter explains.
“They have warned people to beware and contact them in case they receive any such fake links.
“Hence the viral link is a hoax.”
How to avoid WhatsApp scams
WhatsApp scams are extremely common, as the app is difficult to police.
Chats are encrypted as standard to block out snoopers – but it also means WhatsApp can’t hunt down hoaxes or scams.
You should always be wary of any links or media files sent by strangers.
And even be cautious of forwarded messages from pals – as they may be unwittingly passing on an unsafe message.
It’s also possible a friend or family member has been hacked, and is being used as a pawn to hoodwink you too.
Just like with email, avoid clicking unexpected links sent over WhatsApp.
And don’t believe any outlandish claims that seem too good to be true.
Don’t hand over any information to strangers online – or to suspicious websites – either.
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