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Friday, December 4, 2020

The widespread scam on WhatsApp that promised free beer at home

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Jiya Saini
Jiya Saini is a Journalist and Writer at Revyuh.com. She has been working with us since January 2018. After studying at Jamia Millia University, she is fascinated by smart lifestyle and smart living. She covers technology, games, sports and smart living, as well as good experience in press relations. She is also a freelance trainer for macOS and iOS, and In the past, she has worked with various online news magazines in India and Singapore. Email: jiya (at) revyuh (dot) com

We know that we don’t have to listen to suspicious networks and promotions on social media, but we still often follow. WhatsApp is one of the scammers’ favourite ‘apps’ to look for victims who give them their data, and they do so with hooks as attractive as free beer.

WhatsApp is undoubtedly one of the most popular instant messaging apps in the world, making it an interesting target for scammers. If we add to that the ease of sharing links, we have the perfect deception formula.

In this case, users of Latin America and especially those of Argentina have been found at the centre of fraud. There a message began to circulate that read “stay at home with a cooler full of beer”, accompanied by the Heineken logo.

The procedure is very simple: the message shows a link that the user must access. Once on the page that opens, the person enters their details with the promise of receiving the beer at home, but it never comes. It is also requested that the message be shared with 20 other contacts, so the scam is affecting an exponential number of victims.

“With this modus operandi cybercriminals behind this deception not only ensure keep the scam, but seek to lower expectations safety of users receiving the message from a known”, says to the average profile Luis specialist Lubeck, from the cybersecurity company ESET Latin America.

Heineken has taken action on the matter and has issued a statement to prevent the scam, late but later revived, from continuing to proliferate. “We inform that we are not carrying out this type of promotions. We recommend avoiding liking the link and not sharing information on the site because it could be a scam,” they warned on the networks.

This type of scam is known as phishing and is intended to trick users into obtaining their personal data. Lately, many scams are being reported that use brand names to attract customers, especially because of the increased use of internet-connected devices during the pandemic.

“It is always advisable to be suspicious of any message that may be too good to be true. You have to keep security systems updated and check URLs because if they are false they will be different from the official ones. And in that sense, you always have to enter through the official media and not by messages that reach us through other channels,” says Gabriel Zurdo, CEO of BTR Consulting, a company dedicated to cybersecurity.

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