If you receive this message on WhatsApp delete it straight away
My dad always text messages me not to fall for particular scams, and I always text back, "Nobody under 50 falls for this stuff." One time he texted me "BEWARE of the Netflix Phishing Scam - they'll steal your credit number! It was on NATIONAL NEWS!" Another time he texted me: "PHONE SCAM - DON'T pick up a phone number you DON'T know - it could cost you $1.99 a minute!!! (angry emojii face)" And another time he texted me: "DO NOT look directly at the ECLIPSE tomorrow - you'll go BLIND!" Okay, that last one wasn't a scam, but it was equally annoying. Like, what am I, an idiot?
But it's not just idiots that fall for scams. It's all about timing. Some scams are obvious. Others are not. If the right scam comes along at the right time, you might fall for it. For example, one time I emailed an old co-worker, asking if he had any leads on jobs. He said yeah, he'd send me some information later. A couple hours later, he sent me an email with an invite to a Google Document, so I clicked on it, thinking it was the job info. It wasn't. It was a random scam virus thing. Luckily, it didn't damage my computer, but it did damage my ego. How could I click on that stupid thing? It came along at the right time (or maybe I am just an idiot).
So, here's a Public Service Announcement for the latest scam, which is targeting WhatsApp, the popular instant messaging service for smartphones. The cyber crime reporting center Action Fraud picked it up, and it's pretty convincing:
Here's how the scam works: You get a message from a number disguised as a person you might know. It says a supermarket is giving away a huge amount of money in free vouchers. All you have to do to get it is follow the link and enter your personal information. However, that information does not go to supermarkets. It goes to cybercriminals. Don't do it.
For me, the whole message is full of red flags. 1. None of my friends have ever messaged me saying, "Hey, check out this amazing deal!" 2. Why would any supermarket give people hundreds of dollars worth of vouchers? I'd be skeptical if they offered a one dollar voucher. 3. "Enjoy and thank me later!" is not something a human being would say. It's something a robot would say. Technology's come a long way.
Anyway, don't be too condescending when it comes to scams. After all, a surprising amount of people fell for this one. Maybe your friends do send you links to deals like this, so this supermarket voucher message rings true.
Luckily, I know the secret to avoiding all Internet scams. It's pretty simple. But I can't just tell you. If you want to know what it is, post a comment with your social security number, debit card number and mother's maiden name. The answer will come soon. I promise. Enjoy and thank me later!