Police are aware of a link to a scam website using the name ‘Morrisons Super Market’ received through WhatsApp as a forwarded message.
The WhatsApp scam has the following information:
“Morrisons is giving away free groceries worth £250 to support the nation during Corona pandemic. Hurry up! Collect your FREE voucher.”
It’s said to appear genuine and the link to the website provided was: http://morrisons.uk-groceries.store/#
As you can see, the URL starts with just ‘HTTP’ which isn’t secure, always check you have HTTPS within your browser for the most secure way of browsing (this ‘s’ stands for secure-but is not always). Always check the spelling is correct and look out for numbers used instead of letters and added symbols like the ‘#’ as this is a method used on fake sites to trick you.
The link is said to work as expected and looks like it is genuine. You are then asked to answer three initial questions and are then led to another web page asking to circulate this offer among friends using WhatsApp.
When going to share this message it leads to another page informing you that you can win an iPhone 11. You’re then asked to pay £1 for handling charges and request your bank/credit card details to process the payment.
Cyber Crime Prevent and Protect Officer, Kirsty Jackson, of Nottinghamshire Police, said: “Criminals will use every opportunity they can to defraud innocent people. They will continue to exploit every angle of this national crisis and we want people to be prepared.
Scammers have attempted to trick consumers out of their hard earned cash with a new con which suggests the government will pay £458 to all residents during the coronavirus pandemic.
To apply for the payment, residents are encouraged to follow a link in a series of texts where the overall objective by the scammers is to obtain personal financial details.
Following yesterday’s genuine GOV.UK national text message, ‘GOV.UK CORONAVIRUS ALERT’ scammers have begun to send bogus text messages encouraging recipients to click on links contained in the text message. One of the first states that the UK Government has issued a payment of £458 to all residents and encourages recipients to apply by following a link in the text message. Those that do place themselves at risk of theft and ID fraud. Visiting these websites may also expose your computer to malicious programmes/computer viruses.
Throughout this period Trading Standards are endeavouring to keep consumers and businesses updated on Trading Standards related Coronavirus (COVID-19) issues including scams, doorstep crime and business advice/regulations. If you can, please help by cascading this information/guidance/advice as you see fit.
Trading standards advises consumers to:
5 Top tips to Protect from online scams:
– Pick strong passwords – Use Three Random Words with a mixture of Upper/Lower case, consider adding numbers and special characters.
– Be wary of phishing scams – Don’t click on any unknown links in emails and use two-factor authentication.
Social Media – If you use social media, review the privacy settings to ensure your profile is locked down, so only your friends can view.
– Use antivirus software and make sure that it is kept up to date.
– Backups – Always back up your most important data such as your photos and key documents, back them up to an external hard drive.
5 Top tips to protect from Fraud:
Please report all Fraud and Cybercrime to Action Fraud either online https://www.actionfraud.police.uk/ or by calling 0300 123 2040.