WhatsApp users, beware! The ‘anniversary’ scam has started again in the city. This time Lulu Hypermarket is celebrating its ’20th Anniversary’ by giving gifts.
Trusting the people at the top left of the page, thousands of people have shared the link on WhatsApp in Kerala alone, believing the ‘promotion’ to be genuine.
A source at Lulu confirmed that the hypermarket group is not organizing any such promotional event, and the relevant authorities have been informed.
When clicked, the widely shared URL is the first part of the scam -it takes you to a web page with a big, bold “Congratulations!” that welcomes you. “You will have a chance to get the Huawei Mate 40 Pro 8GB + 256GB (Luminous Black),” announces the screen before showing a four-question questionnaire.
When the last four is given a positive response, another webpage with six gift boxes is loaded. When tapped, boxes open showing what the user is getting and “rules” for claiming a reward for part of the contest.
They are asked to send promotional links to 20 WhatsApp contacts or five groups before coming back to submit their residential address so that the ‘gift’ can be delivered within 5-7 days.
Once the URL is sent to enough contacts and groups, the page automatically moves to a new window asking for registration to be completed by downloading an application and keeping it open for 30 seconds. The page has a box to enter the captcha and a download button.
Do not download, do not share
Most users stop linking to these links when asked to download the file. Many cyber literate people understand that files downloaded from unknown sources are likely harmful software or malware.
But WhatsApp forwards and links are widely shared as it is believed that doing so poses no risk. However, Shubhmangal warns against it.
“Sometimes the threat has already reached your device by clicking on the link, there is no need to download any file.
Traffic generation and data collection is one thing and virus spreading is another. Many teams have been assembled to carry out all these objectives with the same scam,” said the expert.