Beware of these fake supermarket vouchers

The fake Tesco voucher

Supermarket shoppers are being warned to steer clear of Tesco and Waitrose coupons being shared on Facebook.

The fake vouchers - for £100 and £75 respectively - are claimed to be up for grabs to celebrate the two supermarkets' anniversaries.

However, not only are the anniversaries fake, the coupons are too. To get hold of one, people are asked to click on a link to visit a website.

"If you click on the convincing looking URL you will be taken to a fake website designed to trick you into handing over personal information," says Action Fraud.

"According to security researchers, once you click on the malicious link fraudsters also collect personal information from your device by installing cookies on your phone that track you, or add browser extensions that can be used to show you advertisements."

Anybody that has fallen for the scam and clicked on the link should run a virus scan.

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There are several giveaways that the Waitrose voucher is fake. It refers to 'this coupons', for example, and says it 'cannt' be used with other coupons.

The Tesco coupon, though, is rather more convincing - although a spokesperson points out that it isn't being shared through official channels.

The fake Waitrose voucher

"I can confirm that this is not a legitimate Tesco promotion. Any Tesco offers run through Social Media will be run through an official Tesco Facebook/Twitter page," she says.

You can tell if it's an official page as there will be a blue tick next to the name. I would not advise for you to either click on the link or to enter in any requested details."

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Both Tesco and Waitrose say they've asked Facebook to take the coupons down.

Fake coupons are a widespread problem on the internet. Recently, an Aldi version was found doing the rounds, purporting to offer £65 off a supermarket shop.

And late last year, fake vouchers for Topshop, Marks & Spencers, Iceland and Sainsbury's were widely shared.

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To protect yourself, simply installing good anti-virus software and keeping it up to date should do the trick; but to be on the safe side, you should never click on a link unless you're absolutely certain it's what it claims to be.

And use your common sense: if an offer appears to good to be true, then it probably is.

Victims of scams and fraud
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Victims of scams and fraud
Susan Tollefsen, Britain's oldest first time mother, was scammed out of £160,000 by a fraudster she met on an online dating site. A man claiming to be an Italian gold and diamond dealer told her he was in the middle of a land deal but couldn't access cash. Tollefsen felt sorry for him and started wiring him money, eventually selling her jewellery, her flat and borrowing £32,000 from friends to give him. Read the full story here.
In March 2015 an American woman who was only identified as 'Sarah' went on the popular US television programme the Dr Phil Show to reveal she had sent $1.4 million to a man that she had never met. Although she was certain she wasn't being scammed, her cousin made her go on the programme because she was convinced it was a scam. Find out more about the story here.
Maggie Surridge employed Lee Slocombe to lay a £350 deck in her garden in March 2015. However Slocombe used a combination of lies to scam Surridge out of thousands of pounds. He told Surridge that the front and back walls were dangerous and needed rebuilding and also conned her into building a porch, all for the cost of £8,500. Read the full story here.
It's not just individuals who can be the victims of scams, big corporations can also fall foul of these fraudulent practices. In 2015 Claire Dunleavy repeatedly used a 7p 'reduced' sticker to get significant amounts of money off her shopping at an Asda store in Burslem, ending up with her paying just £15.66 for a shop that should have cost £69.02. Read the full story here.
Sylvia Kneller, 76, was conned out of £200,000 over the space of 56 years thanks to scam mail. The pensioner became addicted to responding to the fraudsters, convinced that she would one day win a fortune. Ms Kneller would receive letters claiming she had won large sums of money but she needed to send processing fees to claim her prize. Learn about the full story here
Leslie Jubb, 103, became Britain's oldest scam victim in August last year when he was conned out of £60,000 after being sent an endless stream of catalogues promising prizes in return for purchasing overpriced goods. The extent of this con was discovered when Mr Jubb temporarily moved into a care home and his family discovered what he had lost. Find out more about this story here
Stephen Cox won more than £100,000 on the National Lottery in 2003 but has been left with nothing after falling victim to two conmen. The 63-year-old was pressured into handing over £60,000 to the men who told him his roof needed fixing. They walked him into banks and building societies persuading him to part with £80,000 of cash while doing no work in return. See the full story here
Last year the Metropolitan Police released CCTV footage of a woman who had £250 stolen at a cash machine in Dagenham. The scam involved two men distracting the woman at the machine, pressing the button for £250 then taking the money and running away. Read about the full story here.
Rebecca Ferguson shot to fame as a runner up on the X-Factor in 2010 but fell victim to a scam artist last year when someone she had believed to be a friend conned her out of £43,000. Rachel Taylor befriended the singer in 2012 and claimed to be a qualified accountant, so Ferguson allowed her to look after her finances. Instead of doing this Taylor stole £43,000 from the Liverpudlian singer. Read more here
When Rebecca Lewis discovered her fiance had started a relationship with a woman he met online she packed her bags to leave. But that didn't stop her checking out the mystery woman, Rebecca quickly realised Paul Rusher's new love was actually part of a romance scam. She told Paul just before he sent the scammers £2,000 which was supposed to bring his new girlfriend to England. Find the full story here.

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