It seems that the number of scams spreading through the messaging app WhatsApp keeps on increasing, with deceptive campaigns coming up with novel ways of luring in victims. Today I will show you a new example of this, that is spreading in almost all of my groups.
I saw a message this morning, typical of the ones that promise 50 GB data. I’m sure you might have seen it too.
The message reads –> * ???????? For ghana only hello ! i just got 50 GHS credit and 10 GB internet free from here : http:// freepack .site /ghana / *
Update: There is another message spreading using the same technique as the first. It also reads:
* Registration in the Immigration Lottery to Canada 2018. The easiest way to migrate to Canada If you wish to apply and register for Canadian immigration, access this website and register with the Canadian Immigration 2018 program. from here ~> http: // winprize .net /canada/
Before you read further, just know these are fake, and an attempt to collect your data, even possibly install malware on your device (although the audit of the source code does not reveal they are capable of installing malware).
As usual, the message spreads via WhatsApp groups or comes from a friend who “recommends” the service – often unaware of it. In this case, you receive a special invitation with a link: http://freepack.site/ghana/ or http://winprize.net/canada/
Once you click on the link, a page opens, with the intention of making the scheme credible and leading the victim to share the content with at least 30 people. Thus, the scam keeps spreading.
The processes are simple, answer a few questions and get data and money. However, you end up giving out your data (phone number) to hackers who will sell it to the highest bidder.
On the last screenshot above, you can see some comments from people who supposedly tried the service, stating that it works. This is a ruse. Clearly, these messages and the profiles associated with them are fake – they aren’t on Facebook at all, so this is all part of the fraud.
What happens after you share?
Having overcome the barrier of sharing, unwary users looking for free internet end up on sites where different actions may occur, ranging from subscription to premium and costly SMS services, to installation of third-party apps, always with the goal of granting an economic return to the scammer.
Unfortunately, victims will only see offers, but no trace of free internet.
Tips to avoid falling in these campaigns
We have to keep in mind that education and security solutions are still the main tools users need to be safe online. Awareness about these scams should become viral faster than the scams themselves; however, we keep seeing an alarming rate of propagation.
If you know a victim, you can help by alerting their contacts to avoid hitting a sour note. In case you want to report the fraud, you can flag it in your browser as is usually done in phishing campaigns. Click here to report any phishing you might come across on the internet.
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