Industry News

Heineken freebies: Scammers resurrect an old phishing scam to steal your personal data

Amid stay-at-home orders, many companies have come to aid consumers with goodies and free deliveries, and sometimes they’ve even surprised customers with freebies or giveaways.

Fraudsters are once again leveraging the covid-19 lockdown by resurrecting an old phishing ruse – free Heineken beer kegs. The fake Heineken promotion was sent to UK consumers via WhatsApp, and advertised a limited-time offer of free beer for anybody willing to fill out a one-minute survey.

One Twitter user informed the company about the scam: “@Heineken got a link to this through a WhatsApp message, I assume it’s a scam thought you might want to know about it #stayathome #scam”

“Stay at Home With 4 Free beer kegs. Answer this quick 1 minute survey and be one of the happy winners of our giveaway,” reads the scammers’ carefully designed webpage.

The company has also released a statement on its Twitter account:
“Please be aware that there is currently a ‘Free Beer’ phishing scam circulating through social networks. The Promotion states Heineken is giving away free kegs, and encourages recipients to share the message. This is a scam and is not sanctioned by Heineken – we have reported to Action Fraud. Promotions of this type will always be announced via official Heineken channels. We do not advise consumers to click on the link, share personal data, or share the message within their networks. If one of these messages comes your way, do not follow any links that it contains.”

This is not the first time the company’s name has been used in such a scheme. In 2018, a similar scam was delivered on social media platforms, albeit allegedly to celebrate Heineken’s 140th anniversary.

Like similar cons, the alleged survey is simply a means for cybercriminals to get your personal information for identity theft or additional attacks.
Online giveaways are common, but consumers should always check the official page of the company offering the giveaway before filling in any forms or accessing any links, especially if the message is received via text or instant communication platforms.

Scammers are known to spoof popular websites to grab your personal or financial information. It’s important to recognize the signs and be aware that any promotional message should not require your financial information or other sensitive data. You can also check for any spelling mistakes, suspicious domains and the sender’s email address.

About the author

Alina Bizga

Alina has been a part of the Bitdefender family for some years now, as her past role involved interfacing with end users and partners, advocating Bitdefender technologies and solutions. She is a history buff and passionate about cybersecurity and anything sci-fi. Her spare time is usually split between her two feline friends and traveling.