FRAUDSTERS are targeting Tesco and Morrisons customers with a fresh round of phishing scams linked to the coronavirus crisis.
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A total of £2,3670,727 has been lost in coronavirus related scams by more than 1,000 victims, according to Action Fraud.
The emails claim to be from either Tesco or Morrisons, but police are warning that they may also be posing as other trusted brands.
Customers are told that they are able to claim a voucher to help pay for the cost of their groceries – all they need to do is click through the link in the email.
But instead of taking you through to the supermarket’s genuine website, you’re directed to a dodgy site run by the scammers.
What is phishing?
HERE’s what you need to know:
- Phishing is a type of online fraud
- It’s typically an attempt to nab some of your data
- Phishing generally involves scammers posing as a trustworthy entity
- For instance, fraudsters could send you an email claiming to be your bank, asking for details
- Scammers can also set up fake websites that look like real ones, simply to hoodwink you
- Phishing can take place over email, social media, texts, phone calls and more
- The best defence against phishing is to be generally sceptical of weblinks and emails, especially if they were unsolicited
They then ask for you to fill out your personal details, which can then be used to hack into your bank account and steal your cash.
One of the scams to look out for is from “Morrison’s Super Market” and sent through on Whatsapp.
“Morrison’s is giving away free groceries worth £250 to support the nation during Corona pandemic,” the fraudsters claim.
“Hurry up! Collect your FREE voucher.”
It then asks shoppers to click through to a link: http://morrisons.uk-groceries.store/#.
A warning issued by Nottingham police said: “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.”
They also pointed out that incorrect spelling (like in the example above) and letters that have been substituted by numbers are a sign that someone is most probably trying to trick you.
Another scam that claims to be from Tesco claims that shoppers can also get their hands on a free voucher.
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But the tricksters have made a few mistakes that should be a red flag to potential victims.
Firstly, the email claims to be from Tesco.com which is not a legitimate website, and secondly it is signed from the “Tesc0 team”.
Action Fraud warns: “Don’t click on the links or attachments in suspicious emails and never respond to messages that ask for your personal or financial details.”
Most of the emails sent by scammers relating to coronavirus are phishing messages.
It means that they send them out at random in the hope that you might be fooled into handing over the information that they’re after.
Commander Karen Baxter from City of London police said: “It is extremely important that if you receive an email or text out of the blue that you are not expecting, you don’t click on any links or attachments.
“Instead, visit the official GOV.UK website by typing it directly into your web browser so you can ensure the information you are seeing is genuine.”
The Sun Online revealed how one phishing scam saw crooks send e-mails claiming to be from the government offering recipients tax refunds to cope with the coronavirus crisis.
Several fake “diagnosis” scams and hoaxes are doing the rounds online.
Instagram has already banned rogue coronavirus filters that claim to “diagnose” your condition.
Fraudsters have also impersonated the World Health Organization and urges victims to open a document that supposedly contains information about how to stay safe.
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