Beware of fake WhatsApp message from Adidas: credit card at risk

Another fraud attempt exploiting the Adidas brand: this time hackers promise a pair of shoes as a gift for Women's Day.

Today is Women's Day and hackers have not missed the opportunity to try yet another scam via WhatsApp message: in fact, for a few days now, on the world's most used instant messaging platform, a message has been circulating about a gift from Adidas to celebrate the holiday: a free pair of shoes.

The cybercriminals' scheme of action is the classic one: the same message sent to thousands of phone numbers, containing a link that leads to a phishing page. The page replicates the site of the company, in this case Adidas, impersonated by the hackers to show credibility in the eyes of less attentive users. Classic also the bait thrown to users: a very expensive product as a gift, if you are willing to pay the shipping costs at home. Expenses that, of course, must be paid in advance by credit card. The latter is the real target of the evildoers.

How to recognize the fake Adidas message

It has to be said that Adidas is a brand often used by hackers to try to steal the credit card data of WhatsApp users. Already in 2018, we saw the circulation of a message in which, under the pretext of the company's 80th birthday party, a free pair of shoes was promised. In 2019, on the other hand, circulated the message about the t-shirts as a gift for the 95 years of Adidas.

This time the excuse is instead Women's Day, and in fact the message began circulating last week and became more frequent over the weekend. In the text is promised a free pair of shoes, with the only request to connect to the site of Adidas to pay for shipping home.

Of course the site is not that of Adidas, but it is well replicated and is credible to most. The fact that the shipping costs a few euros, then, is a further hook because many users think that, at worst, even if it is a scam at most they can lose just the money of the shipment. But it is not so: the risk is much higher.

What you risk with the fake Adidas message and how to defend yourself

If the user accepts the small risk can incur big problems. The expense of a few euros for the shipment of Adidas shoes, in fact, is only a pretext to induce the user to enter name and surname, number and CVV of the credit card.

The hackers will then be able to use this data to make online purchases with that card, because if the expense is low, the new European mechanism of Strong Customer Authentication is not triggered, which would require the criminals to have physical access to the victim's phone to complete the purchase.

In any case, however, it is always better to activate 3D Secure two-factor authentication for all credit card purchases, even for small amounts: it will be more uncomfortable to pay online, but even if our card details end up in the wrong hands, no one will be able to make purchases without our permission.