Many types of news are viral on social media and WhatsApp Messenger. One such message that went viral on social media in different countries of the world claims that free beer of the Heineken brand is being distributed despite lockdown. This message claims if the user participates in a survey, he/she will get four beers for free from the company.
Heineken says that the ‘free beer’ message on WhatsApp is a scam and that the company has made no such offer.
Crooks intend to phish and steal private information by floating messages that gullible users would fall for. Scammers see a windfall of income as stupid and/or old-school people click on links blunderously.
A Twitter user shared this ‘free beer’ message he had received via WhatsApp, tagging the company and asking whether the offer was genuine. The company made it clear it was fake.
According to cybercrime experts, such messages abound on the payday every month. They warn not to trust them and click on links where the claim sounds too good to be true. If you do, all your usernames, passwords, other credentials and private information store in your device reach the fisher who then hacks your device and apps.
One-third of the world is in lockdown due to the coronavirus. But even as people are able to go out of their homes only to buy essential things, crooks know there are addicts who are dying to be served too. They, therefore, make attempts to mislead people with fake offers like ‘free beer’ on social media.
An alcohol-related scam is happening these days in India too. On 4 April, Sirf News had reported that some traders were using milk cans to camouflage the alcohol they contain. A case of the kind had come to light in Mathura where the police arrested and penalised the milk seller. A team of Uttar Pradesh Police had, while their colleagues were patrolling all neighbourhoods to ensure people stay indoors and loiterers sent back home, put up a barricade near the Pepsi factory on the highway.
Sensing the suppressed supply in the market amid a heightened demand for liquor, cyber crooks have laid traps to cash in on the situation. Even when a consumer is cheated, he does not dare approach the police, thus giving the crooks a field day.