New online scam: a message alerts you that you have been selected to receive an iPhone X or Galaxy S8 as a gift, but the goal is to get your from
"Congratulations! You're one of the 10 lucky users we've selected for a chance to win an iPhone X or Samsung Galaxy S8." These are the words in the scam message that thousands of people are receiving on their smartphones in the last few hours.
This is a banner ad that appears to users while they are browsing with the smartphone's browser. In technical jargon it is called adware, a virus that occasionally displays misleading advertisements in order to get hold of users' personal data. Every day, dozens and dozens of people are affected by misleading advertisements produced by adware: the lowest common denominator is always the promise of giving away a valuable electronic device. In this case, it is the iPhone X and the Samsung Galaxy S8, two of the smartphones most desired by users.
In addition, to increase the authoritativeness of the deceptive advertising, the scammers have seen fit to insert the logo of the Italian Post Office, one of the most well-known and reliable companies in the Peninsula. But to understand that it's a scam, all it takes is a little attention: the message has obvious grammatical and lexical errors.
How the iPhone X gift scam works
The scam engineered by the hackers is very simple. While a user is browsing on a website, a popup ad pops up alerting the user to the happy event: "you are one of 10 lucky users who has a chance to win an iPhone X or Galaxy S8". At the end of the message there is an OK button that transfers the user to a new page where to enter their personal data. The goal of the scammers is precisely to get hold of the person's information: First Name, Last Name, email address, bank account number. All data that can be resold on the dark web or be used to steal money from the user's bank account.
The scam was reported by "Commissariato di PS Online - Italia", the official page of the State Police on Facebook.
How to defend yourself from the iPhone X gift scam
It takes very little to avoid falling into the trap set by the scammers. First of all, just read the message and notice the presence of lexical errors: no one who knows a little Italian would write "Congratulationi" instead of "Congratulations". Moreover, no one would give away smartphones that cost more than 500 euros to strangers without getting anything in return. Finally, if Poste Italiane wanted to launch a game with prizes, it would certainly not use misleading messages to promote the initiative.