Heineken beer Father’s Day scam: what is fake text spreading ‘like wildfire’ on Whatsapp and how to spot it
The fraudulent contest claims to offer free beer but it’s been set up by scammers
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The fake Whatsapp offer is being used in phishing and scamming frauds and has been set up by cybercriminals to lure unsuspecting victims into traps that claim to offer vouchers - but then steal their personal information.
So, what does the text look like and what should you do if you get it?
Here’s everything you need to know.
What is the scam?
The scam claims to offer people the chance to win a cooler of beer in time for Father’s Day, which this year falls on Sunday 19 June.
According to scam alert website onlinethreatalerts.com, the online fraud is circulating on social media “like wildfire".
The fake offer tricks potential victims into visiting phishing, spam, and malicious websites that have the potential to steal a person’s personal information and account credentials.
The scam may also trick potential victims into signing up for unwanted services.
What does the scam look like?
The scam will usually appear as a message on Whatsapp, and will seemingly come from a friend or contact - but be aware it is not from someone you know at all.
There will be a ‘tinyurl’ link, which will feature alongside an image of an 18 bottle Heineken ‘coolerpack’.
This will be accompanied with a headline such as ‘Heineken Beer Father’s Day Contest 2022’.
Underneath the image and headline will be the sentence "5,000 coolers full of Heineken for you Dad", and then a link which claims to be to the beer giant’s official website "heineken.com."
What have Heineken said?
This scam looks similar to a fake Heineken contest which circulated online in 2020.
That scam competition promised people the chance to win "free kegs of Heineken beer".
It led Heineken to release a statement warning people not to fall victim to the phishing scam.
The beer manufacturer also revealed at the time that it had been reported to Action Fraud.
Heineken has not commented at the time of writing on this new scam.
What has Whatsapp said?
WhatsApp has not responded to the individual scam, however, the messaging company launched its “Stop. Think. Call.” campaign in November 2021.
This was following a sharp increase in scams on the app, and aims to educate people on how to protect themselves and their WhatsApp account from these frauds.
The campaign urges people to:
Stop: Make sure to take time when responding and make sure your WhatsApp two-step verification is activated to protect your account.
Think: Question if the request makes sense and what they are asking for. Are they asking for money? Remember scammers prey on kindness, trust and willingness to help.
Call: Make sure it is actually your friend or family member by ringing them, or ask them to share a voice note with you.
What should I do if I get the text?
If you receive the text it is important that you do not click on any of the links included in it.
You should then report the text to Action Fraud by calling 0300 123 2040 or using their online reporting form.