Heineken Beer Scam: WhatsApp users are being warned about a scam competition offering people a free crate of Heineken beer ahead of Father’s Day. The fake contest is spreading ‘like wildfire’ across the messaging platform, according to a scam alert website.
The offer usually appears as a WhatsApp message from a friend or contact in the form of a ‘tinyurl’ link accompanied by an image of an 18-bottle ‘coolerpack’ of Heineken. The text alongside the image claims that “5,000 coolers full of Heineken” are up for grabs.
Heineken confirmed that the competition was fake and warned people not to click on any links sent to them. Replying to a Twitter user who asked whether the contest was genuine, the beer manufacturer said: “This is a scam. Thank you for highlighting it to us. Please don’t click on links or forward any messages. Many thanks.”
According to onlinethreatalerts.com, the sham competition tricks victims into visiting phishing, spam, and malicious websites that have the potential to steal personal information and account credentials. It may also trick potential victims into signing up for unwanted services.
People are being warned not to click the link, as doing so will take them to one of these fraudulent websites. The websites are being used in phishing and scamming campaigns which are setup by cybercriminals that actively lure unaware users into traps with the fake promise of vouchers.
The latest scam echoes a similar fake Heineken contest which circulated online in 2020. The fake competition promised people the chance to win “free kegs of Heineken beer” and led to Heineken releasing a statement warning people not to fall victim to the phishing scam. The beer manufacturer also revealed at the time that it had been reported to Action Fraud.