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SCAM ALERT

Beware the John Lewis WhatsApp voucher scam offering £100 free vouchers

JOHN Lewis customers are being warned not to fall for a WhatsApp voucher scam that’s doing the rounds.

The fake deal wrongly promises customers a free £100 John Lewis voucher to “celebrate the retail giant’s 96th anniversary”.

 This fake John Lewis offer is being sent around via WhatsApp
1
This fake John Lewis offer is being sent around via WhatsApp

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John Lewis has since confirmed the WhatsApp message is NOT from the retailer, as it urged shoppers not to open the fake link.

The WhatsApp message reads: “John Lewis is giving away £100 Voucher to celebrate its 96th anniversary.

“Get your free Voucher at [fake John Lewis website link]. Enjoy and thanks me later.”

According to Metro, the link takes you to convincing page that asks you to fill out a questionnaire.

How to avoid falling victim to a scam this Black Friday

WE spoke to Martyn James, consumer expert at Resolver, to find out how you can avoid putting yourself at risk from fraudster.

Be careful with voucher codes: “You should never have to trade personal information to obtain them. And even if you did, it's simply not worth it.”

Be sceptical: “The internet is a real wild west at the moment. The scammers are spectacularly convincing, websites look like the real thing and links are all to easy to click on. Look out for spelling errors and unusual URLs.”

Never give away your personal information: “Your most valuable things are your passwords, personal data and payment cards. Don't ever risk them.”

Shoppers are then asked to give away their personal details including their name and age – important information that can be used by fraudsters to
steal your identity.

The scam then prompts you to pick a shop to collect the voucher, along with asking you to send the fake promo on 20 friends.

There are some key tell-tale signs which should alert consumers to this being a scam.

For example, there’s several spelling and grammar mistakes including “thanks me later” instead of “thank me later”.

How to protect yourself from fraudsters

ACTION Fraud recommends taking the following advice to stay safe:

  • When making a purchase, be suspicious of any requests to pay by bank transfer or virtual currency instead of safer methods, such as credit card or payment services such as PayPal.
  • Listen to your instincts: If something feels wrong then it is usually right to question it. Don’t pay for goods or services unless you know and trust the individual or business.
  • Personal information obtained from data breaches is making it increasingly easier for fraudsters to create highly targeted phishing messages and calls - watch out for these.
  • You shouldn’t assume the caller is genuine just because they’re able to provide some basic details about you.
  • Always be suspicious of unsolicited requests for your personal or financial information.

It appears the link has since been taken down, but John Lewis has urged customers to still remain aware of scammers.

A spokesperson from John Lewis told The Sun: "John Lewis & Partners takes cyber security very seriously.

"If a customer receives the scam message they should delete it immediately and avoid clicking on the link.

"We’ve alerted Action Fraud and are investigating further as a matter of priority."

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