/ Scams

Watch out for phishing emails impersonating UK supermarkets

Fake marketing surveys promising gift cards of up to £100 for filling them out are impersonating the likes of ASDA, Morrisons and Tesco. Here’s what they look like.

Back in June we covered a fake email purporting to be from Sainsbury’s promising a £90 ‘promo reward’ for taking part in a marketing survey. Sainsbury’s confirmed it was nothing to do with it.

Since then we’ve been made aware that these emails haven’t stopped at just one supermarket – fraudsters are using the same tactics by posing as the UK’s most well-known shops in order to gain your trust and send you on to potentially dangerous websites.

We’ve seen examples of fake emails posing as ASDA, Morrisons and Tesco and have made each of them aware. Here’s exactly what you need to watch out for.

ASDA phishing email

This email is designed to make you follow the link by promising a large reward in return for doing very little – a common phishing tactic. But this ‘survey’ is not being run by ASDA.

ASDA thanked us for flagging the email with our readers.

Morrisons phishing email

Using the same tactics, the fake Morrisons version promises a £90 reward. A Morrisons spokesperson said:

“These social media posts are designed by third-parties posting as Morrisons, for the purpose of fraudulent activity. Please do not click any links, open attachments or enter personal information. This is not a genuine post from Morrisons.”

Tesco phishing email

The Tesco iteration is exactly the same as the Morrisons version. Tesco confirmed that it was aware of these emails and that it is working to stop them. Tesco has a dedicated email for customers to report phishing emails to:

phishing@tesco.com

It also has a guide on how to identify scam emails posing as the brand.

Have you received similar fake emails?

If you think you may have been a victim of a fake email like these, let your bank know what’s happened straight away.

Guide: how to spot a scam

Guide: how to get your money back after a scam

Phishing emails can also be reported to the National Cyber Security Centre on report@phishing.gov.uk

If you’re in possession of a suspicious email you think is posing as a well-known brand, let us know in the comments or via our scams sharer tool.

As always, please help us spread awareness of these examples by sharing them with your friends and family.


Comments
Nigel Smith says:
7 October 2021

I was aware of these but just delete them not opening, but good to see that you and the various Supermarkets are onto them.

Here we go again… but it’s no surprise to see scammers shopping early for Christmas. My inbox seems to attract these scam e-mails like a magnet and they are not all diverted to the junk folder. Sadly, the onus will always be on the customer not to be caught out by these tricksters so the maxim “If it looks too good to be true, it’s probably not” has never been more relevant.

I predict the next big promotional scam will come via Pharmacists and aim at those wanting/needing the Flu & 3rd Covid inoculations, to signing up for free delivery of the repeat prescription service, whereby to sign up there is a need to give out your personal details. Looking at the Supermarket phishing scams the Pharmacist scams are perhaps equally or more dangerous

Alexander Tierney says:
7 October 2021

I have been marking them as spam and blocking the sender as Icould not trust that the “unsubscribe” option would not to be used to open up the possibility of downloading malware to my machine..

You’re absolutely right not to use the “Unsubscribe” link in any spam or otherwise fraudulent email. Doing so merely confirms your email address, making it certain that you will get more spam.

Bryan S says:
7 October 2021

For these reasons illustrated by WHICH, I refuse to have/buy, and a mobile telephone! Most of my friends say that I am crazy for such an attitude. Because I ‘refused’, my bank has now refused me access to my on-line account! So be it…I don’t particularly care! One day, we may be proved right…Watch this space…Thank you…Bryan S.

Just to add what others have said regards phishing scams, don’t just delete; hit the SPAM button & always hit the report button; yes it may take a time to become effective by reporting but slowly it works & maybe eventually will stop many

J Allen says:
7 October 2021

Where is the Spam Button on an iPad? Every day I receive 7 or 8 and all I can do is delete them. A Spam button would be ideal.

E Bowater says:
7 October 2021

I get many emails claiming I have won a gift card or some other ‘reward’ from a supermarket.
If you scroll right down to the bottom of the email there is usually a dead give away as to a American address.
Why would a British based supermarket be running any promotion, reward, competition etc via America??
Delete immediately and don’t even bother clicking any link!

I’ve been bombarded with these over the last few weeks, all being sent from scammers purporting to be Walgreens (a USA pharmacy) but offering rewards for UK stores. I’ve reported every one to the NCSC and then deleted them, so hopefully they will stop soon. DO NOT OPEN OR CLICK UNSUBSCRIBE.

Michael says:
7 October 2021

Supermarket scams.
They all carry an addess at the end of the page – 53 South Street, London WC53 4CF. It is non-existant according to the Royal Mail..
And these scams also include Just Eat.

robin gough says:
7 October 2021

Maybe you should also make people aware of “You have been chosen” emails. I get lots of them.

John Hanley says:
7 October 2021

It did not hit NIreland yet but I bought a Hybrid Toyota Carola Estate Car to do my bit for Co2 emmisons

These have been going on for years, nothing new. Stay safe, trust no one offering free stuff.

Megan says:
7 October 2021

I have been receiving emails from Macafee “supposedly” advising me my subscription for protection on line is due. Every mail keeps saying it will “expire today”. I used to subscribe to them many years ago and have reported it as spam. Be aware, Scammers seem to latch on to any well known brand, or indeed Bank.

I have been receiving them too, they have a norton version as well.

Neeta says:
7 October 2021

I have also received these ‘one-time offer’ phishing emails claiming to be from Amazon (with a time deadline and live clicking clock!) and more recently emails offering discounts on Bitcoins, flu jabs and everything in between. I always move these into my junk folder and report the email as a phishing email. Over time, the number of such emails getting through has decreased.

Keith Simpson says:
7 October 2021

“Gotton” ????? That word is not in the dictionary it is” we have got hold of copies of emails” or “we have copies of emails” Please try to use the Queens English in these reports

I was very suspicious from the start of these scam emails. I immediately sent them to spam and blocked them. I am getting fed up with surveys etc. So have given up doing them anyway. I maybe coming up 81 years of age, but my brain is stil functioning. If in doubt delete.

peter davenport says:
7 October 2021

talktalk are doing prizes , is it a scam

Neil H says:
7 October 2021

Due to ongoing knee problems, I don’t care to walk very far with my stick. I left my car parked on my driveway as soon as the ‘Low Fuel’ light came up. Tried using local bus when available, but not very well provided. Otherwise my partner has driven me in her car, when she’s not working. I would not join a long queue of thirsty motors at a petrol station in case I didn’t get any and had to abandon the car when it ran out of gas.

Christine says:
7 October 2021

Relating to the email, but not relating to the topic, I want to point out to Which my shock and dismay that whoever wrote the introduction has used the word ‘gotten’. At best it is ‘sloppy’ English, at worst it is Americanism. It is unworthy of Which and, in my opinion, disrespectful to its readers.

Irene says:
7 October 2021

The use of the word ‘gotten’ made me think I had been send a phishing email…

Don’t we in the UK use the expression “ill-gotten gains”?

“Gotten” actually has a very long history and was taken to America by early English settlers. It is just that, outside of North America, English-speaking people have dispensed with the subtlety of having two words with separate meanings and use the single word “got” for both meanings: Possessing [“got”] and Obtaining [“gotten”]. Modern English usage has reversed the process with “get”, so people here now commonly ask “Can I get a ticket to London?”; that really is an unattractive Americanism and invites the answer: “Yes> . . . Would you like one?”

It’s interesting:

gotten /ˈɡɒt(ə)n/ North American

Past participle of get.

USAGE: As past participles of get, got and gotten both date back to Middle English. The form gotten is not used in British English but is very common in North American English. In North American English, got and gotten are not identical in use. Gotten usually implies the process of obtaining something, as in he had gotten us tickets for the show, while got implies the state of possession or ownership, as in I haven’t got any money.

Keith Simpson says: Today 16:16
“Gotton” ????? That word is not in the dictionary it is” we have got hold of copies of emails” or “we have copies of emails” Please try to use the Queens English in these reports

Actually, ‘gotten’ does appear in the OED. But doesn’t the ‘Queen’s English’ also involve some punctuation occasionally?

But some might argue that our present Majesty is not entirely English!

Tricky stuff, language.

Thank you Ian. I was hoping our man in dictionary dell would settle this nicely.

“Got” is often a redundant word – e.g. I haven’t got any money” = “I haven’t any money”. It perhaps adds emphasis. Personally I think it a bit of an unnecessary word but our language is used in different ways by different people and long may that continue.

What I do not like is the misuse of language, such as “could of” instead of “could have”. Nor do I much like sloppy pronunciation from reporters on tv – dropping the “g” as…..droppin…

Interestingly, in respect of your first observation the OED has this to say:

“USAGE: The verb get is in the top five of the most common verbs in the English language. Nevertheless, there is still a feeling that almost any use containing get is somewhat informal. No general informal label has been applied to this dictionary entry, but in formal writing it is worth bearing this reservation in mind.”

In short, the use of ‘get’ or ‘got’ is deprecated in good writing. I restrict their use to reported speech only.

I think “get” has more use than “got”. “Gotten” is not a word I would use except in the kind of example John mentions

Got it!

Interesting (no, not really) that this comment got ten responses.

I was visiting our local church, on a hill, with a stepped pathway up from the field gate. I had just been watching an old film on Talking Pictures and my brain put the title into my head. So I counted the steps, as you do, and yes, there were 39.

David J McEgan says:
7 October 2021

Emails i get in my box are usualy from friends and family i never go beyond them so any emails i get are marked for spam except witch of course an organisation we can all trust
David J McEgan

It is possible for the phising email to arrive as if it is from a friend or family. A personal email address can be hijacked. It has happened to us and a friend was sent a message saying we had changed our bank account for payments.