WhatsApp Warning As Free Beer For Father’s Day Scam Goes Viral
With Father’s Day just around the corner, perhaps it should come as no surprise that cybercriminals are looking to exploit it while there’s still time. And time is fast running out with it falling on Sunday, June 19. With the cost of living crisis starting to bite, the opportunity to get something for free is tempting: especially when it’s one of “5,000 coolers full of Heineken for your Dad.”
That’s the message that has gone viral, circulating via WhatsApp messages as recipients share the chance to win with friends. But there’s a catch: this is a scam and there is no free beer for Father’s Day.
The scam appears to come in various guises and employs all the usual tricks to try and get people to click on the embedded link. This means there could be a countdown suggesting only a few coolers are left to be won or saying that only the first so many people can enter, and so on. Of course, there is no competition, it’s just a scam to steal personal data and credentials.
Heineken and WhatsApp issue free beer scam warnings
Heineken has tweeted a warning about the fraud in which it confirms it has reported the matter to law enforcement. For its part, WhatsApp has warned users never to reveal PIN codes with others and advises they set up two-step verification for added security.
Forwarding to friends amplifies the scam
Jake Moore, a global cybersecurity advisor at ESET, says that “People should always err on the side of caution and not be tempted to even check the links as this can often be all that is needed to forward on the message amplifying the scam and making it harder to be brought under control. If you have clicked on the link and forwarded the message it may be a good idea to quickly tell those contacts that this may have been a phishing scam and not to click on it.”
Remember, if something appears too good to be true it usually is. What’s more, it’s increasingly commonplace for it to be a scam. In this case, please don’t respond to the free beer for Father’s Day message or it could turn out to be a very costly pint indeed.