Scam warning as Britons fall for fake Wetherspoon free Facebook meal vouchers
Money Box: Man discusses how he became victim of a scam
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On Facebook, potential Wetherspoon customers are being told they will win free meal vouchers if they receive comments from a Wetherspoon account. However, this account is actually being run by scammers who have set up profiles to fraud innocent people of their hard-earned cash. Which?, the consumer group and watchdog, is cautioning Britons on falling for these scams which appear to look legitimate at face value.
Examples of the posts advertised on social media include images of English breakfasts with promotional captions, such as “Congratulations for those of you who have received comments from us, you have the opportunity to win them.”
Facebook users are then called to like and share the posts with their friends and family on the social media platform.
At this moment in time, the scam accounts currently do not have large followings, however this does mean that they are unable to interact with other accounts.
Which? found two social media pages which claimed to be official Wetherspoon Facebook profiles.
Both accounts shared similar posts following the same format, which called on Facebook users to ‘like and share’ and click a link.
The link takes users to a “competition” website which asks them to enter their personal details in order to claim a prize.
Currently, it is unknown how many people have fallen for this scam or who have given away their personal details to fraudsters.
According to Which?, Google searches for ‘Wetherspoon Facebook scam’ have risen by 800 percent over the last week.
The consumer watchdog noted that this was a significant rise from previous searches when the scheme circulated earlier this year.
This suggests that Britons are becoming increasingly aware of the Wetherspoon free meal voucher scam, or that many people have become victims to it.
Which? is urging Britons not to like, share, follow or interact with any of the accounts which are promoting free meal vouchers with Wetherspoon.
In an official statement, Wetherspoon confirmed its business does not have any official social media presence and is not behind the advertised deals online.
The pub chain stated: “Wetherspoon’s website states that: ‘Wetherspoon does not use any social media.
“Any promotions on social media which appear to be from Wetherspoon are, therefore, unofficial and fake – so please do not participate or share your details with such adverts.
“We will continue to report fake pages and apologise for any inconvenience caused by these unassociated spam accounts.”
How to spot fraud online
As part of their warning to the British public, Which? has also issued some advice on how people can spot frauds and scams online.
The consumer website encourages people to complete a quick Google search to see whether the deal is accurate.
Furthermore, social media users should check the URL, social media history and branding of any questionable account they see online advertising deals.
It is also possible to send the account a message before clicking on any links they send your way in order to determine their validity.
Finally, social media users should contact Action Fraud to inform them of any potential scams which could hurt consumers.
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