Coronavirus: Scammers targeting shoppers with bogus Tesco and Morrisons vouchers

Lily Canter
Concept of cyber crime, hand holding smartphone and show malware screen that comes with email, hack password from bank accounts and personal data. Photo: Getty
Scammers are using the coronavirus crisis to con unsuspecting UK customers with fake emails and text messages. (Getty)

Supermarket shoppers have been warned by the police not to be tempted into coronavirus-related scams offering free vouchers.

Fake websites have been set up to steal personal and financial information from unsuspecting UK customers.

In one scam people have received a hoax email claiming to be from Tesco (TSCO.L) saying the supermarket is offering vouchers during the coronavirus pandemic. A link in the email takes customers to a bogus phishing website which then steals login details and sensitive data.

The email, which contains several typos, encourages people to act quickly by claiming the offer expires at the end of April 2020.

READ MORE: Coronavirus: How to spot a work-from-home scam

Since COVID-19 hit the UK, more than £2m ($2.5m) has been lost to coronavirus-related cons, affecting 1,072 victims, according to the national police unit, Action Fraud.

Kirsty Jackson of Nottingham Police, who were the first to spot the scam, said: “Criminals will use every opportunity they can to defraud innocent people. They will continue to exploit every angle of this national crisis and we want people to be prepared.”

Another shopping scam, currently doing the rounds on WhatsApp, promises a £250 shopping voucher for Morrisons (MRW.L) supermarket.

Once on the website people are asked a series of questions and told to share the message to be in with the chance of winning an iPhone 11. It also asks for a £1 admin fee and bank or credit card details.

The scam message reads: “Morrison’s is giving away free groceries worth £250 to support the nation during Corona pandemic. Hurry up! Collect your FREE voucher.”

Nottingham Police said genuine websites should always start with ‘https' because this signals the site is secure.

READ MORE: Campaign launched to tackle online coronavirus scammers

They also warn the public not to click on any unknown links in emails or messages and to make sure antivirus software is up to date.

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