Cadbury has warned people not to interact with a scam claiming to offer consumers a free Easter chocolate basket that has been circulating on messaging platforms and social media.
Images have been posted online by recipients that show a WhatsApp message containing a link claiming to offer a free chocolate treat.
But the chocolate manufacturer has confirmed the offer is not genuine and should not be interacted with, adding in a statement that it was “working to resolve this”.
“We’ve been made aware of circulating posts on social media claiming to offer consumers a free Easter Chocolate basket,” the company said in a statement posted to Twitter.
“We can confirm this hasn’t been generated by us & we urge consumers not to interact. Your security is our priority & we’re currently working to resolve this.”
Merseyside Police has also issued a public warning about the scam, urging people to avoid clicking on the link contained in the message as it was an attempt to “gain access to your personal details”.
The message appears to be a type of phishing scam, where criminals create messages that look genuine in order to trick consumers into clicking a link to a bogus website where viruses could be installed on their device, or having them hand over personal information which can be used to gain access to financial information or online bank accounts.
Cybersecurity experts have reported a notable increase in this type of scam in the last two years, with criminals using the uncertainty of the pandemic to try to scam people by posing as government departments, the NHS and delivery services – sending emails and text messages claiming to be related to the vaccine rollout, contact tracing and parcel deliveries during lockdown.
The UK’s National Cyber Security Centre (NCSC) advises people to consider carefully before clicking any link they are sent, unsolicited, by an organisation, and encourages people to look for telltale signs including poor spelling or grammar, or a sense of urgency in the messaging to try to encourage a rash decision.
Security experts also warn that if an offer sounds too good to be true, it often is.