From the Too Good to Be True file, comes the Adidas anniversary giveaway. Messages are currently circulating in WhatsApp promising a free pair of Adidas shoes in celebration of their anniversary. Initially messages referred to a 93rd anniversary, however the hacker decided to do some basic math and more recent messages correctly refer to a 69th anniversary.
You might be asking, why on earth would someone fall for this? Well once the scammers sorted out their math, they were clever enough to spoof the official Adidas site. The fake URL is exactly like the legitimate one with only the i replaced with a vertical line with no dot. This is an easy thing to miss when one is being tempted with free footwear.
In addition the scam is quite sophisticated. They don’t just come right out and say, give me your personal information and I will give you free shoes. Instead, they give the whole thing a legitimate feel by making the victim qualify first by answering a short survey and requiring them to share the offer with their WhatsApp contacts (just for the record, there is no way for them to determine if you have shared a message or not). Once you qualify, you are told you can claim your shoes for a dollar. Of course as payment is now required (but it’s only a dollar, so it’s nearly free), you are sent to a webpage that collects your payment card information. Having jumped through multiple hoops to claim your prize, you now feel like you have earned the free shoes and all thoughts that this are a scam are gone from your mind.
That is until you see the confirmation of payment web page that includes a line in the footer saying you will be charged $50 per month if you don’t cancel your subscription in seven days. Of course they now have your payment card information and will charge you what they want for as long as they want until you cancel the card. Even worse if you fail to read the footer, they will have access to your card until you notice the charges.
Anytime someone is giving something away, assume it is a scam. If you are tempted by the sparkly giveaway being dangled in front of you, visit the company’s website using a bookmark or search engine result. If they are giving something away, it will be advertised on their official site. Remember if it is too good to be true, it probably is.