Christmas is just around the corner, with shoppers on the lookout for deals on festive sweet treats and chocolate.
However, fraud experts are warning the public about a scam competition currently circulating, which appears to be offering free chocolate.
The scam was uncovered by researchers at Parliament Street, who found that a Facebook Group called ‘Cadbury Rewards’ is claiming that Cadbury's is offering a competition for people to win a hamper full of chocolate.
Free chocolate hamper scam
The Facebook post says that the company is giving away free hampers in order to celebrate its 126th birthday, but the Mirror reports that almost all of the information in the message is incorrect.
Cadbury's is in fact 196 years old, and the message was from someone calling themselves ‘Anna Burton’, but researchers found no records found for this name at the firm, and there is no mention of the competition on Cadbury's official UK Facebook page.
The post, which had over a thousand likes and hundreds of comments on Facebook, is directing people to a fake website using Cadbury branding and then asking people to enter their name, home address, phone number, email address and bank card details in order to be eligible for the free chocolate competition.
A Mondelēz International spokesperson for Cadbury's said, “We’ve been made aware of a circulating post on social media, claiming to offer consumers a hamper of free Cadbury products.
"We can confirm that this has not been generated by Mondelēz and would urge the general public to not interact or share personal information through the post. The security of our customers is our priority and we’re working with the relevant organisations to ensure this is resolved.”
‘We urge all members of the public to remain vigilant’
Cybersecurity experts are now warning people to remain alert and keep an eye out for any potential scams, especially as the festive season approaches.
Andy Heather, a cybersecurity expert at Centrify, said, “With the Christmas season fast approaching, it’s no surprise that hackers are attempting to lure lockdown-weary members of the public into handing over their bank details and passwords with the promise of chocolate hampers and tasty treats.
"This is the latest in a series of scams whereby social media platforms are being used to elevate awareness and spread the fraud, hijacking official branding and making use of photos and testimonials to fool victims."
Mr Heather adds, "We urge all members of the public to remain vigilant against these phishing attacks and always double-check that an apparently sweet deal isn’t going to leave a bitter aftertaste.”