There have been more than 1,000 casualties since the start of the coronavirus pandemic, with Action Fraud reporting that £ 2 million has been taken so far.
The message – which is shared around WhatsApp – uses the contact name “Morrison’s Super Market” and says, “Morrison’s is offering free groceries worth £ 250 to support the nation during the Corona pandemic. Hurry up! Get your FREE voucher. “
It then gives a link that begins with “http”.
All secure links must begin with “https”, the “s” meaning secure.
After clicking on the link, you will be redirected to a website that looks authentic.
You will be asked to enter certain details and asked to share this offer with friends using WhatsApp.
When you go to share this message, you will be directed to another page informing you that you can win an iPhone 11.
You are then asked to pay £ 1 for the processing fee and the scam will ask for your bank details to process the payment.
Another way to find out that this post is a scam is that Morrisons doesn’t have a single quote like Sainsbury does.
It’s important to be extremely careful with small details like this, which could save you a lot of money.
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Cybercrime Prevention and Protection Officer Kirsty Jackson of the Nottinghamshire Police said: “Criminals will take every opportunity to defraud innocent people.
“They will continue to exploit all aspects of this national crisis and we want people to be prepared.
“We will share tips on scams as much as possible to try to get a head start on these criminals and we want to help the public protect themselves from these scams as much as possible.
“However, we will need help from the public to share this as much as possible, including conversations with those least likely to see our alerts.
“We are not trying to scare people at a time when they are already anxious.
“We just want people to be aware of the very simple steps they can take to protect themselves from handing over their money or personal data to criminals. “
Police have provided five tips on how to avoid a scam, including:
- Choose strong passwords – Use three random words with a mixture of upper / lower case, consider adding numbers and special characters.
- Beware of phishing scams – Don’t click on any unknown link in emails and use two-factor authentication.
- Social media – If you use social media, check your privacy settings to make sure your profile is locked so only your friends can see it.
- Use antivirus software and make sure it is up to date.
- Backups – Always back up your most important data such as your photos and key documents, save them to an external hard drive.