WhatsApp users are currently being hit by “urgent” posts claiming that they can get a free car by following a link.
The posts claim that Hyundai, Mazda, and several other car companies are offering the free cars as a means of celebrating their anniversaries.
But, alas, no cars are being given away and the posts have no connection to the car companies they name.
The posts are scams designed to trick you into spamming your friends, visiting dodgy survey and offer websites, downloading suspect apps, and divulging your phone number.
Here’s what the scam posts look like:
Urgent Hyundai offers free cars model 2018 on the occasion of the 99th anniversary of its establishment get yours now >>>>[Link removed]
If you follow the link, a message like this will appear:
After you click the “OK” button, you will be asked to fill in a brief survey about your driving habits before being taken to a website that looks like this:
If you click the “Download” button, you may be redirected to an app store or third party website and prompted to download an app. These apps may contain malware or steal your information.
Or, you may be taken to a website that promises the chance to win further prizes in exchange for providing your personal information. This information will be subsequently shared with third-party marketing companies who will inundate you with unwanted emails, phone calls, text messages, and surface letters.
In some cases, you may be automatically redirected to a porn website.
Exactly what clicking the “Download” button does appears to be dependent on the type of phone or device you are using.
The scam page also instructs you to click a button to publish on WhatsApp. It warns that you won’t get your free car if you don’t share the page with 30 people or groups on WhatsApp. Via this ruse, the scammers ensure that their fraudulent posts continue to spread via WhatsApp, finding many more victims as they travel.
Finally, you will be instructed to enter your phone number to complete your entry and get your free car. But, your phone number may then be added to a very expensive SMS subscription that charges you several dollars for every message they send.
Or the scammers may use the phone number to send you further spam and scam messages.
If one of these scam messages comes your way, just delete it. Do not follow any links that it contains. And, if possible, inform the person who sent the message that the supposed giveaway is a scam.