The Monsieur Cuisine Lidl scam is back on Facebook: how to defend yourself

A scam already seen on WhatsApp in recent months is back on Facebook: don't click on the Monsieur Cuisine Lidl advertisement for any reason, it's a dangerous scam

The dangerous scam about the "Monsieur Cuisine", the inexpensive alternative to Vorwerk's much better-known Bimby food processor at the center of a legal dispute in Spain between the retail giant and the German home appliance giant, is back on Facebook. The same type of scam had circulated, via WhatsApp chats and other means, last April but this time cybercriminals have taken it to the next level.

It all stems from a fact that actually happened: in 2019 Vorwerk sued Lidl in Spain because it believed that the Monsieur Cuisine Connect economy robot (manufactured by Silvercrest and sold in Lidl stores) infringed several European patents of the Bimby, dating back to 2008. The lawsuit ended with a conviction for Lidl and the obligation to withdraw the product from the market, compensating Vorwerk for the economic damage. All this is true, as it is also true that Lidl continues to sell the Monsieur Cuisine Connect in other markets, including Italy, at the price of 349 euros and with excellent results: every time it arrives in the store stocks last very little. It is absolutely not true, however, that Lidl is selling stocks of Monsieur Cuisine Connect at 1.99 euros, as claimed by a dangerous advertisement that has been circulating in recent days on Facebook and that, to increase its reach, also uses methods well beyond the limits of the law: from bots to hacked profiles.

Monsieur Cuisine Lidl: the fake advertising on Facebook

The scheme of the Monsieur Cuisine Connect scam on Facebook is, at the same time, simple and refined. It is a sponsored post, which has as a photo a pallet full of real Monsieur Cuisine Connect but with a fake sign (obviously added with Photoshop) indicating a price of 1.99 euros. Beyond the photo, a few words: "Lidl sells Monsieur Cousine at 1.99 euros due to a lost legal dispute".

Before going into detail, let's pause a moment on the title: the Silvercrest product sold by Lidl is called "Monsieur Cuisine", while the one described in the dangerous post is called "Monsieur Cousine".

The post is full of comments, almost all of them positive. They are mainly comments coming from fake profiles, from real bots: users with Arabic, Russian, German names but who comment in Italian without any problem.

Viewing those profiles, it is evident that they are users created only to "push" scams of this kind. But that's not all: every now and then there are also some comments from profiles that seem real, even Italian ones, that almost certainly have been hacked for the same purpose or are identity thefts against other Facebook users who ran into the same scam (or similar).

Monsieur Cuisine Lidl: what happens if you click

The Facebook user, therefore, is invited to click on the link included in the post, because all the comments speak very well of the initiative: "I booked two, one for me and one for my mother", "I just got it at home: great product", "Finally Monsieur Cousine is back in Italy, I run to buy it" etc etc...

After the click, however, you get to the heart of the scam: the user is sent to a fake page that imitates the Lidl website, where he is told that the product is on its way and you just have to enter your personal data and pay 1.99 euros with your credit card to book it. Then it will be shipped to your home for free.

All this, of course, is a huge scam: the user is robbed of their personal data, email address, home address, phone number and even the 2 euros to order the cheap Bimby. This complete data can then be used for other scams, to send dangerous phishing messages (to the phone number and/or email), or to create fake online profiles with the same name, surname, age and even address.

Not to mention, then, the risk arising from having communicated your credit card number, which goes well beyond the euro and ninety-nine cents subtracted immediately: there is no guarantee at all, in fact, that the circuit used to make the payment has not itself been set up just to steal the security codes of payment cards.

Remember, in fact, that for payments of such a low amount is not mandatory the strong authentication of the user (SCA), which protects the payer from frauds of this type.