Scams targeting major supermarkets including Tesco and Morrisons have been uncovered by police, who are warning the public to protect themselves. Both hoaxes offer vouchers to customers of the supermarkets through seemingly genuine websites that are designed to steal personal and financial information. More than £2 million has been reported lost by 1,072 victims of coronavirus-related scams, according to Action Fraud, the Police’s fraud team.
In one case, fraudsters are also targeting Tesco customers in an email-based scam campaign. People are told via email that they can receive vouchers for free from the supermarket if they follow a given link. The link then leads to a seemingly genuine phishing website, which is designed to steal login details as well as personal and financial information.
In another case, a Whatsapp message promising a £250 shopping voucher at Morrisons supermarket is actually a ploy to steal people’s bank details. A link to a scam website using the name ‘Morrison’s Super Market’ is received through WhatsApp as a forwarded message, with the following information:
“Morrison’s is giving away free groceries worth £250 to support the nation during Corona pandemic. Hurry up! Collect your FREE voucher.” You’re then asked to pay £1 for handling charges and request your bank/credit card details to process the payment.
Nottinghamshire Police gave the following advice to protect from fraud:
- Pick strong passwords – Use Three Random Words with a mixture of Upper/Lower case, consider adding numbers and special characters.
- Be wary of phishing scams – Don’t click on any unknown links in emails and use two factor authentication.
- Social Media – If you use social media, review the privacy settings to ensure your profile is locked down, so only your friends can view.
- Use antivirus software and make sure that it is kept up to date.
- Backups – Always back up your most important data such as your photos and key documents, back them up to an external hard drive.
Action Fraud provides free materials to help the public protect themselves from fraudsters online. (Source: Cambridgeshire Live)