WhatsApp scams are not uncommon. Some chain letters are obviously dubious, while in other messages the criminal intent is not so obvious. Currently, you should beware of a Father’s Day sweepstakes.
The messenger service WhatsApp is by far the most used in the world. Around 2 billion people communicated regularly via the platform in 2021. In Germany alone, there are around 50 million. This is probably one of the reasons why so many scammers are targeting the messenger. A current Father’s Day competition is tempting users, but they should beware.
False Father’s Day competition on WhatsApp
At the moment, some WhatsApp users are receiving an unexpected message. Allegedly, the message comes from the DIY store Obi and the recipient is supposed to be informed about a sweepstake on the occasion of Father’s Day. There are supposedly 5000 gas grills to win. Since the barbecue season is just around the corner, or has already begun in some cases, this should sound quite tempting to many.
At first glance, the WhatsApp message looks genuine. The familiar Obi beaver greets in the preview and there are also no obvious typos except for Obi’s own spelling. However, the link below the message should make you suspicious, as it refers to a Russian website.
Beware of phishing
If you click on the link, you will land on a page that actually looks like the home page of the DIY store, but is a fake. The page then most likely tries to install a virus on the retrieving device in the background. Unwitting subscriptions have also been made in this way.
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Obi itself has confirmed via Facebook, among other things, that no such sweepstakes are currently taking place. So if you receive such a WhatsApp message, do not click on the link and do not forward the message. The only solution in this case is to delete the message.
Unfortunately, scams like this are not uncommon. The best way to protect yourself from so-called phishing attacks is to always check the message source and never simply open a link that cannot be verified with absolute certainty. For example, in the current Father’s Day scam at Obi, the link is easily recognizable. If in doubt, try to open the message directly from the site from which it purports to originate. At Obi itself, you will not find any reference to the competition.