WhatsApp users are being warned about a new scam circulating in the run-up to Easter, which promises free chocolate as part of an alleged Cadbury Easter Egg Hunt competition. A scam message is doing the rounds on the world’s most popular chat app, which claims Cadbury is giving away thousands of free chocolate gifts in the run-up to Easter.
However, as is often the case with these WhatsApp scams, the free Cadburys offer is merely a trick to try and get unsuspecting victims to hand over sensitive personal information.
Besides leading to identity theft, this can also cause WhatsApp users to be scammed out of their hard-earned money. The scam message features an image of a purple Easter Egg with “Join the Cadbury Easter Egg Hunt” written on top of it.
Alongside it the hoax message says: “Cadbury FREE Easter Chocolate Basket. 5.000 free gifts for you.”
The recipient is then directed to a website where they need to enter personal information to allegedly be in with a chance of getting a free Cadbury gift. But as eagle-eyed WhatsApp users spotted, this is all part of an elaborate scam to con innocent victims.
Speaking about the threat on Facebook one WhatsApp user said: “I’ve had three messages in last five minutes on Whatsapp promising a free choc hamper. Its a scam please don’t fall for it. They want you to fill it all in to steal identity. If something normally sounds too good to be true it usually is!”
While another posted: “Just a heads up, if anyone gets a WhatsApp message offering free Cadbury Hampers, it’s a phishing scam that could potentially cost you money and loss of personal information. Don’t take the bait!!!”
And another said: “Apologies for forwarding a post allegedly from Cadbury yesterday offering free chocolate. It’s a scam and was used in England a year or so back. As usual, if it sounds too good to be true, it probably is.”
As always scams, there are a few tell-tale signs to look-out for. Firstly, always beware of messages you get sent out of the blue claiming to be from a big-name company that asks you to provide sensitive information.
Also, if any of these message have any grammar or spelling errors this should be a red flag – as official correspondence from major corporations shouldn’t have these typos.
If you do end up clicking on a link sent to you double check the URL – these scams use fake websites that which you can often easily tell aren’t being hosted by the company it’s allegedly related to.
For those that follow this checklist and still aren’t sure you can always contact the company in question directly. While this will add a bit of time it will save you more time, money and stress that you’d have to deal with if you did end up being victim to a scam.
WhatsApp also has advice on its website to help people spot a scam message.
Here’s what the leading messenger says: “There are clues that might indicate you’ve received a suspicious message, or that the sender is pretending to be someone they’re not. Look out for messages that contain the following, as these may indicate a contact is untrustworthy.
“Misspellings or grammatical mistakes, asking you to tap on a link or activate new features through a link, asking you to share your personal information, such as credit card or bank account numbers, birth date, passwords, asking you to forward a message, claiming that you have to pay to use WhatsApp”.