An offer giving people the chance to win “free crates of beer” for Father’s Day, has been reviled as a hoax.
The WhatsApp scam promotes a “Heineken Beer Father’s Day Contest 2022” and says “5,000 coolers full of Heineken beers” are available to claim.
The message also includes an image of a pack of Heineken beers.
It appears to come to WhatsApp users via a contact and includes a link to click through to the beer company’s website to enter the competition.
However, clicking on the link runs the risk of exposure to phishing scams, spam and malicious websites which could potentially steal personal information.
Heineken posted a message on its Twatter account, saying: “This is a scam. Thank you for highlighting it to us. Please don’t click on links or forward any messages. Many thanks.”
A WhatsApp spokeswoman said the platform protects users’ personal messages through end-to-end encryption, but she added: “We can all play a role in keeping our accounts safe by remaining vigilant to the threat of scammers.
“We advise people never to share their six-digit PIN code with others, not even friends or family, and recommend that all users set up two-step verification for added security.”
She said the company encourages users to report any suspicious messages to them.
General advice is to always be suspicious of a message from an unknown number, no matter how tempting the offer may be.
And it is always best to check a brand’s official website and social media channels to see if there is any mention of the promotion.