Fraudsters use many methods to try and con people out of their money, with one of the most popular involving fake supermarket voucher offers, supposedly from the likes of Tesco, Aldi, Lidl and more.
We have warned loveMONEY readers about these scams many times over the past few years as these hoax voucher promotions have popped up all over Facebook and Twitter as well as on WhatsApp, text and email.
To help you stay safe, here are some of the most common ones we've spotted.
Fake Lidl voucher offer
At the time of writing, some Lidl shoppers are being targeted by scammers who are pretending to be from the budget supermarket and offering them a voucher once they fill out a survey – and their bank details, of course.
The scammers claim that any receipt from a Lidl purchase last year is a winning prize draw entry and that a voucher is waiting for the recipient.
On Lidl’s official Facebook group, the discounter (see the screengrab below) has warned that the competition is fraudulent, and claims people are being charged to enter.
According to the discounter, any legitimate Lidl competitions will only be advertised via their official channels.
Unfortunately, this isn’t the first time that fraudsters have posed as Lidl as they have previously sent out fake offers of £175 worth of free groceries on Twitter, Facebook and WhatsApp.
The scam voucher, which we covered in detail here, claimed it is supporting the nation during the COVID-19 pandemic by handing out vouchers to those who click on a link and fill out a survey.
We've screen grabbed what that page owned by the scammers looks like below, but it's possible there are variations of this.
Whatever you do, don't click on any links or share any personal info – it's a scam. You can learn more about avoiding this Lidl voucher scam here.
Aldi fake coupon/voucher scam
A fake Aldi voucher designed to steal shoppers’ information was flagged earlier this year, although this isn’t the first time this scam has done the rounds.
In a classic scam technique, victims are told they will receive a prize, in this instance an Aldi coupon (most recently worth £200), in return for clicking on a link and sharing certain personal info.
Twitter user @DGDCampbell alerted Aldi to one of the scams he'd seen shared on WhatsApp, which you can see below.
If the text is too small, we've typed it out in full here
"Aldi supermarket offers a free coupon of £250 to everyone this week to Help the nation. Click here to get: http://www.aldi.uk-coupons.store/
Hi @AldiUK. A relative of mine received this on WhatsApp this morning: Afraid it looks like the fraudsters are at it again with the voucher scam, making the best of the #coronavirus coupled with your brand name. #ScamAlert pic.twitter.com/5LuY8GKaG8— Darren Campbell (@DGDCampbell) May 2, 2020
It's a fairly believable scam because Aldi has run competitions in the past where it offers vouchers as prizes: take a look at this screengrab of an advertorial than ran on a reputable news site a few years back.
But it's easy enough to tell this Aldi voucher offer is a fake, as we explain here.
Tesco fake voucher and email scams
There have been a number of Tesco-related voucher and survey scams in the past, with some of the most recent scams circulating in late 2020.
First off, there's this fake Tesco £45 voucher offer, pictured below. You're asked to answer a few questions, share and then download a voucher, but really the voucher is fake and the whole scam is set up to steal your personal details.
Click on the image below to view a larger version
Elsewhere, there have been scam emails and tweets promising Tesco vouchers worth anywhere between £50 and £500 in return for after answering a survey.
However, those that complete the questionnaire are finding they’ve been signed up to a premium rate text service, which charges them to be entered into a monthly draw.
Read more about the scam in: Tesco prize draw scam: how to stay safe.
Waitrose voucher scam
Waitrose shoppers have also been targeted with a fake voucher offer on WhatsApp.
Dorset Police Cyber Crime Unit previously tweeted a screengrab of the scam message, which is designed to steal shoppers' personal information.
If you do receive this scam, delete it immediately.
Fake Asda voucher scam
Similarly, scammers have been spotted using a fake £250 Asda voucher to capture personal details.
To be clear, at the time this scam was circulating, the supermarket was NOT giving away a £250 free voucher to celebrate its 68th anniversary.
If you clicked on the link and filled out the page, your details will simply be harvested by scammers.
There are three easy ways to spot this offer is fake.
First up, the spelling and grammar mistakes are a clear red flag.
Second, if you manually type in the supposed URL in the 'offer' (http://www.asda.com/mycoupon) you will see that the page does not exist on Asda. Clicking on it will redirect you to the scammer's page.
Finally, ask yourself: would a supermarket really give every customer £250 to celebrate a random anniversary? If it seems too good to be true...
Note: we first spotted this when a friend sent it to us thinking it was real. If you've shared it, please do let those people know ASAP not to click on the link.
Morrisons £75 anniversary voucher scam
On a similar note, Facebook has been used by scammers that claim a free £75 voucher for either Sainsbury's or Morrisons is available as part of their anniversary celebrations.
The text used can vary, but the offer is generally along the lines of: "Get a FREE £75 Morrisons Coupon to celebrate 117th Anniversary!". We've seen some with different anniversary years mentioned.
Avoid this scam, and definitely don't share it with your friends on Facebook.
Sainsbury's £120 WhatsApp voucher scam
Sainsbury's shoppers have also been targeted with a £120 voucher scam.
The scam, which was mainly doing the rounds in 2019, claimed the giveaway is to celebrate Sainsbury's 150th birthday.
Of course, fraudsters are well known for 'recycling' scams, although they may have a different hook to lure people in (instead of an anniversary).
In order to claim your 'free' voucher, you are redirected to an external site where you are asked to share your details. But there is no prize and your details will be used to inundate you with spam messages.
Sainsbury's has warned shoppers to delete the message without replying.
Hi there Valerie, this is not one of our offers. Please refrain from clicking any links or responding to the message. Sean— Sainsbury's (@sainsburys) July 9, 2018
How to get genuine supermarket discounts and vouchers
Not all supermarket promotions are a scam.
You should also keep an eye on official Facebook and Twitter feeds for genuine offers from the supermarkets and other retailers.
This article has been updated