A fake message inviting people to take part in a ‘Cadbury FREE Easter Chocolate Basket’ is spreading fast on WhatsApp. Here’s what it looks like.
We’ve been made aware of a fake message spreading through WhatsApp using Easter as a hook to get recipients to click through to a website that has nothing to do with Cadbury. Here’s what you need to watch out for:
Fortunately, Cadbury UK has been quick to warn its customers that the message is absolutely nothing to do with the brand. It’s urged anyone who’s received it not to interact and says it’s working to resolve the issue:
We’ve been made aware of circulating posts on social media claiming to offer consumers a free Easter Chocolate basket. We can confirm this hasn't been generated by us & we urge consumers not to interact. Your security is our priority & we’re currently working to resolve this.
— Cadbury UK (@CadburyUK) March 31, 2022
How to deal with ‘smishing’ messages
We cover a huge number of text message (SMS) scams here on Which? Conversation, known as smishing, and occasionally similar tactics can find their way on to the hugely popular WhatsApp platform. We’ve seen this recently with the ‘Mum and Dad’ scam, targeting parents by posing as their children and requesting money via the messaging service.
The tactics used for SMS scams remain the same via WhatsApp: attempt to encourage the recipient to click through to a 3rd-party website that has nothing to do with the spoofed brand which could ask you to input sensitive personal information, including bank details.
As always, if you think you’ve given sensitive information away to fraudsters, let your bank know what’s happened immediately. Which? has a number of guides available to help you through the situation:
If you receive a message from someone on WhatsApp who isn’t in your contacts, the app asks if you want to block or report them. WhatsApp also says it will ban accounts where it has evidence that they have breached its terms of service.
Have you received the fake Cadbury message?
We showed Cadbury a copy of the message as soon as we received it. A spokesperson confirmed it was fake and reiterated its statement originally posted on Twitter to Which?:
We’ve been made aware of circulating posts on social media, claiming to offer consumers a free Easter Chocolate basket. We can confirm that this has not been generated by us and would urge consumers not to interact or share personal information through the post. Customer security is our priority and we’re working with the relevant organisations to ensure this is resolved.
Have you received the fake Cadbury message via WhatsApp or any other means? Have you had similar messages sent to you posing as other brands?
Do you think you may have become a victim of these tactics? Let us know in the comments and help us spread the word.