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WhatsApp message about Valentine's Day offer by Taj Hotels is fake

Cybercriminals often extract sensitive information from people by forwarding fraudulent messages in large numbers.

twitter-logoAnkita Chakravarti | February 3, 2021 | Updated 17:14 IST

Highlights

  • WhatsApp has often been used to dupe people.
  • The latest scam that has been doing the rounds on WhatsApp involves the well-known Taj Hotels group.
  • Users have reported getting “Gift cards” from Taj Group for the occasion of Valentine's Day.

WhatsApp has often been used to dupe people. Cybercriminals often extract sensitive information from people by forwarding fraudulent messages in large numbers. The latest scam that has been doing the rounds on WhatsApp involves the well-known Taj Hotels group. Users have reported getting "Gift cards" from Taj Group for the occasion of Valentine's Day.

As per the Taj Group of Hotels, a website is using the coveted brand's name by sending out a false offer on WhatsApp to dupe people. The message also carries a harmful link, which can inject viruses or extract sensitive data of users.

The message that is doing the round on WhatsApp reads "received a gift card from TAJ Hotel and finally got the chance to stay in TAJ Hotel for 7 days for free." .Below the message there is a link, if you click on the link, you will either end up sharing your sensitive data or end up getting your account locked

Acknowledging the false message that is being circulated in the name of Taj Hotels, the company has posted on Twitter, "It has come to our notice that a website has been promoting a Valentine's Day initiative, offering a Taj Experiences Gift Card via WhatsApp. We would like to inform you that Taj Hotels/IHCL has not offered any such promotion. We request to take note of this and exercise due caution."

This is not happening for the first time. Prior to this, a messaging claiming to offer Rs 3000 per day for work from home was doing the rounds on WhatsApp. The message also says that the new users will get Rs 50 upon enrolling for the job. A link has been provided below the message which if activated might lead to loss of money, sensitive data, and a lot more. The idea of the cyber attacker was to lure the user to click on the link. This message was being sent when a lot of people, who had lost their jobs, were struggling to get jobs. Many users fell for the trap and ended up sharing data with the cybercriminals.

WhatsApp is aware of such scams that take place on its platform. Addressing them in its FAQ page, WhatsApp says, "Unwanted messages from unauthorized third parties come in many forms, such as spam, hoax and phishing messages. All these types of messages are broadly defined as unsolicited messages from unauthorized third parties that try to deceive you and prompt you to act in a certain way."

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