Woolworths voucher scam
A scam email purporting to be from Woolworths surfaced late last week. The email says that recipients can receive a $150 voucher if they answer a simple question regarding the year Woolworths was founded. The email is however a scam. Woolworths do not currently have such a promotion.
The email contains a link to an external site (which is not Woolworths) where the recipient is required to fill out their personal details, including credit card numbers. In the past, there have been several cases where users have followed the link, filled out their details, and later found unauthorised transactions on their credit card.
Figure A shows what the email looks like. On a cursory glance it looks reasonably legitimate. Closer inspection throws up a few red flags, however. Firstly, the links are not links back to Woolworths; they link back to a phishing site. Secondly, the grammar is somewhat flawed. A real red flag, however, is the spelling of the word prize: on the email it is spelt “price”, which is incorrect.
Asking recipients to fill out a survey in return for a free voucher is a favoured tool for scammers. Even if only 1% of all users fall for the trick, the scammers can still make money. To complicate matters, marketing companies often offer free vouchers as an inducement for users to complete surveys. Hence, recipients of scam emails may be less likely to check the veracity of the sender.
This particular scam is limited to email at present, but it may also appear on Facebook, as this is another favourite conduit for scammers. One person likes a page with the scam survey. The Facebook like is posted to the victim’s friend’s timelines. Friends see the like, and visit the page. In this way, the scam survey can be propagated rapidly.
This scam email started appearing late last week. The timing is probably not a coincidence; the Christmas shopping season is starting up, and many people will be quite rightly looking for bargains. Unfortunately, this email is a scam. If you receive it, delete it.