“250 euro Ikea gift voucher”. On WhatsApp the scam is viral – Chronicle


WhatsApp, a smartphone: archive photo (Ansa)
Rome, 20 May 2020. “250 euro Ikea gift vouchers “, the scam on WhatsApp is served. A few days ago, an inviting message has been circulating on the social network: “Ikea has decided to give 1000 vouchers worth € 250 to help the recovery of consumption. Click here to get one before they run out. “Obviously, as for all the gifts too beautiful to be true that are found on the web, behind this speech bubble is hidden theyet another attempt to take possession of your credit card. The bait is really appetizing: with the economic and health emergency linked to Coronavirus, who wouldn’t want a coupon to buy some mobile for free, maybe directly on the Internet to avoid the queue and a potential contagion? However, the limping use of the Italian language, with a subjunctive failure that shouts revenge, is the first signal that should invite any user not to proceed and to report the attempted scam to WhatsApp. The Swedish giant, master of viral communication, would never make such a mistake.

The fake page

The unwary who decided to click on the link were parachuted on a page of the L (lowercase) kea. Graphically the name is identical to that of Ikea, but the site hosting the promotion has a decidedly suspicious domain: S5S5.club. Why would the furniture giant use an external website for an official discount campaign?

Hacker slaves

But if you have gone further, after answering a mini survey, the fake site will invite you (if you don’t do it, obviously you won’t be able to receive the voucher) to share the promotion with 20 of your WhatsApp contacts. A diabolical mechanism: your friends will receive the trap on their mobile phone directly from you, making it more credible. Put simply, you will have worked for the enemy.

The credit card

Continuing, the site – whose domain s5s5.club belongs to a Ukrainian company that sells spaces and names on the web also in exchange for bitcoins – asks us to enter our name, surname, address and telephone number. A full-blown phishing operation. The last step is to insert our credit card to make a small purchase. Oh yeah. Ikea gives us 250 euro only if we pay a few pennies to a company registered in Cyprus. Nothing more sensible.

The precautions

All these scams exploit the laziness and naivety of the victims. Nobody ever gives anything, so always be wary of offers that seem too greedy. And if you really have a doubt, always check the company web page ready to lose out to do you a favor: in 100% of cases you will not find traces of the fabulous offer.

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