a week ago - last edited a week ago
The end-of-year rush is prime time for shoppers to fall for the promise of free things, says one behavioural economics expert who warns Australians to protect themselves in the face of a number of supermarket gift card scams doing the rounds in the weeks before Christmas.
Over the weekend, shoppers once again took to the social media accounts of Coles and Woolworths, asking for clarification after receiving text messages and emails appearing to congratulate them for winning a gift card.
One text message claiming to be from Coles told shoppers they had won $1000 as part of our customer of the monthâ€ program, while Woolworths customers were told they had won $2000 through the same scheme. Links to external websites were then provided, with scammers asking customers to fill in details to claim the prize.
Both supermarkets responded swiftly to customers on Facebook, with Woolworths saying the offers were definitely a scam.
This is not the first time the brands have been impersonated through text messages. In August, a wave of similar scams were doing the rounds, with the retailers telling SmartCompany they have dedicated customer warning pages to track current threats.
But just six weeks out from Christmas, this time around many customers are saying that even though they knew the texts were likely scams, they were tempted to check with the retailers just in case the prize was genuine.
Woolworths confirmed to SmartCompany this morning it has no affiliation with any of the texts offering vouchers, and has taken steps to warn customers at the checkout not to respond to any unsolicited messages online, including warning shoppers not to buy iTunes vouchers in large numbers.
A number of other scams in recent months have called on shoppers to buy iTunes cards, with scammers telling them these would be used to pay for products like NBN services.
Woolworths has introduced a number of measures in-store to alert our customers to these scams including placing customer warning notices where iTunes vouchers are displayed, at customer service desks and in the self check out areas, a spokesperson says.
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a week ago
I can't believe anyone would fall for this, or even bother to ask Coles or Woolies.
For example, Coles has a promotion for online shoppers. Spend $230 on groceries and get....a whole $10 off your order. Sheesh.
Does anyone think they would give away $1,000?