A new scam is traveling on WhatsApp: with the promise of receiving a shopping voucher of 500 euros, users are providing their data to hackers
Defending against scams on WhatsApp has become increasingly complicated. An example of this are the dozens of messages you receive every month promising discounts and shopping vouchers to spend in supermarkets or shopping centers.
The latest scam has hit a company in the large-scale retail trade: with the promise to give a Conad shopping voucher of 500 euros, hackers are collecting the personal data of hundreds of Italian users. The scam was born on WhatsApp and has spread like wildfire within groups and in conversations between friends. The scammers have not invented anything new, it is a practice that is repeated every week: under the pretext of giving a shopping voucher or a discount, the hackers are able to obtain the personal data of users and to activate paid subscriptions.
How the Conad shopping voucher scam works
What the hackers are doing is a classic phishing attack: they create websites identical to those of established companies (in this case Conad, but the same has also happened with Ikea) and manage to convince users to provide their personal data. But how does the scam work? The message travels within WhatsApp conversations: users greased by the shopping voucher of 500 euros share it with their friends and within groups. In the text is explained how to get the voucher: it is necessary to click on the link in the message and you will be directed to a questionnaire to be answered (the page is created ad hoc to look like the official Conad). Very simple questions, but they force the user to provide their personal data. This information is used by scammers to send spam e-mails or to be resold in the dark web. In some cases, paid subscriptions are activated.
How to defend yourself against this scam
To defend yourself against this new scam, the advice is always the same. First of all, no company offers a discount coupon on WhatsApp: if it were to do so, it would use the official channels (website, social profiles). In addition, in many cases the text of the message has grammatical errors and this should raise doubts about the legitimacy of the offer. Another thing to check is the URL of the questionnaire: it seems to be the official one of Conad, but there are small differences that make you understand that it is a fake site.