If you see these vouchers on Facebook DO NOT click on the link
Free shopping vouchers and gift coupons, which are being shared by thousands of people on Facebook have prompted a warning from the UK’s national fraud and cybercrime reporting centre.
The suspicious vouchers prompt users to click on links and open so-called ‘coupons’ to unlock discounts or free shopping, according to the Mirror Online.
In response to a new wave of the suspicious vouchers, Action Fraud is warning social media users not to click on the links offering the bogus rewards, because they are a phishing scam used by fraudsters to take personal and financial details from their victims.
The vouchers, which read “Sainsbury’s is giving free £75 vouchers to EVERYONE for their anniversary”, are being shared widely on Facebook and various social media channels, however the supermarket has confirmed it is a hoax and cannot be used in stores or online.
The email address that features at the footer of the social media post reads: “SAINSBURYS-u98c59z. ” – a format that has now been replicated across a multitude of high street brands and supermarkets, including Asda, John Lewis and Morrisons.
The coupons also include common promotional terms such as ‘1 coupon per person’ and feature expiry dates which can make it seem genuine – however, it is highly likely that criminals are behind the scheming ads.
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Customers are being warned not to click on any suspicious links or promotions without prior research – and if in doubt, to get in touch with the company in question directly.
The email addresses to watch for are as follows, although bear in mind that these address could change at any time:
The coupons have entered circulation just months after a wave of fraudulent Aldi vouchers appeared online , offering a fake £65 in an attempt to get people to part with their personal information.
In all instances, customers who open the posts are asked to share it with a status – often ‘Thanks for my coupon’.
However, on there are instances where customers appear to have received a call prior to the voucher code.
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An Action Fraud spokesman told Mirror Money customers should be wary before clicking on an unsolicited links.
“Fraudsters will do everything they can to try and take personal and financial details from their victims. It is extremely tempting to click on links for vouchers whilst browsing on social media,” a spokesperson said.
“However we ask people to be wary of clicking on unsolicited links and advise that they do their research first, before giving away any personal or financial details.”
Action Fraud tips to protect yourself from online voucher scams
- Be wary of clicking on unsolicited messages on social media, even if they appear to come from a trusted contact.
- Do some online research first – check the official supermarket website to see if there are any genuine offers available.
- Ensure that you have anti-virus software on your computer
- Never give out personal or financial data including usernames, passwords, PINs, ID numbers or memorable phrases.
What the supermarkets say
In a statement to Mirror Money, a Sainsbury’s spokesperson said: “We are aware of the issue and are advising customers to ignore the message.”
The supermarket chain has also advised any suspicious customers with concerns to contact its care line on 0800 636 262.
Sainsbury’s is not the only supermarket being used by the scammers, with Asda, Tesco, Morrisons and Waitrose also on their hitlist.
A Tesco spokesman said: “We have reported this hoax and it has been taken offline. Our online promotions can only be found on our own website or on our verified social media pages.
“If a customer is unsure about the authenticity, they can check with our customer service team.”
An Asda spokesman added: “We publish all our activity from verified accounts such as the official Asda Twitter and Facebook pages.
“We have no connection to or control over competitions run by third parties and can only warn customers to be careful before entering anything online that isn’t connected to an official Asda account.”
A Waitrose spokesperson said: “This £75 voucher is a hoax and we advise people to ignore these adverts and not to click on any links, or enter any personal information.
“We would never ask customers for personal details in return for vouchers and are reporting this to Action Fraud.”
An Argos spokesperson said, “We are aware of this issue and are advising customers to ignore the message.”
The Morrisons posts, which are offering an array of freebies in exchange for clicks, include free Adidas shoes and Marlboro cigarettes – but don’t fall for it.
Meanwhile, the John Lewis coupon is a prime example of why you should always read the small print – as it includes a reference to ‘Asda Direct’ in the terms and conditions.
A John Lewis spokesperson said: “This £75 voucher is a hoax and cannot be redeemed in our shops. We advise people to ignore these adverts and not to click on any links, or enter any personal information. We would never ask customers for personal details in return for vouchers.”
An Iceland spokesperson said: “This is a hoax voucher. We urge people to treat these vouchers with caution, not to click on the link and to delete the email.”