Once we start getting closer to a big holiday, like now with Easter on the horizon, it’s not unusual to suddenly experience an increase in dodgy texts and messages from scammers trying to get their hands on your personal information.
The latest fraudulent message that could see you having your identity stolen has begun to make the rounds on WhatsApp - this is what you need to know.
What’s the scam?
Many have taken to social media to share screenshots of the messages to warn people of the scam currently circulating on WhatsApp.
The message urges its recipients to click on the link in order to enter their details and register to win a free Cabury Easter Chocolate Basket. Attached to the message is an image which says “Join the Cadbury Easter Egg Hunt”.
It’s thought that the link could be Russian due to the use of “.ru” in the link instead of “.co.uk” or “.com”.
If you received the message, you should not click the link or interact with the message in any way.
What can scammers do with your details?
With enough of your personal information, such as your name, date of birth and address, fraudsters can steal your identity.
The Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) says that “your name, address and date of birth provide enough information to create another “you”” and that “an identity thief can use a number of methods to find out your personal information and will then use it to open bank accounts, take out credit cards and apply for state benefits in your name”.
If you think you’ve been a victim of identity theft or fraud, you need to act quickly in order to contain the amount of damage that can be done.
You can use Citizens Advice online scams helper to get advice which is most specific and helpful to your situation.
What has Cadbury said?
Cadbury itself has also clarified that the message is not legitimate.
On Twitter, the official Cadbury UK account wrote: “We’ve been made aware of circulating posts on social media claiming to offer consumers a free Easter Chocolate basket.
“We can confirm this hasn’t been generated by us & we urge customers not to interact.
“Your security is our priority & we’re currently working to resolve this.”
Is Cadbury holding a real Easter egg hunt?
One reason that the scam message has left users confused is because Cadbury is holding an Easter egg hunt, similar to that as seen in the image attached to the scam text.
The Cadbury Worldwide Hide allows users to hide a virtual Easter egg somewhere on a map of the world. You then can write your personalised clue to help whomever you’ve tasked with finding the egg and from there it’s up to them to try and find the hidden egg.
You can keep the whole experience entirely virtual, or you can go the extra step and have a real Easter egg from Cadbury delivered to your Easter egg seeker once they’ve located the hidden chocolate on the map.
If you’re buying a real Easter egg, you have up until Tuesday 12 April to buy and hide an egg with standard delivery, or up until Thursday 14 April to buy and hide your eggs with next day delivery. If you’re just going virtual, you have up until Monday 18 April to hide your egg.