Tesco customers are being tricked into signing up to a premium rate text service.
Thousands of shoppers have received emails, which claim to be from Tesco, offering £500 worth of Tesco vouchers or a new iPhone in return for taking part in a survey.
It requires you to hand over your phone number to participate.
They are then signed up to a premium-rate text service, which costs £4.50 a go.
Many have unsuspectingly racked up huge bills answering questions by text: The Sunday Mirror reports that some people have lost up to £80 to the scam.
The paper spoke to one victim, who says he was also charged £4.50 per week to enter into a monthly draw.
Shoppers are warned of a supermarket scam as fake Tesco prize draw text messages promise ... https://t.co/VXs5j0yTEi— The Scam Cop (@OfficialScamCop) October 9, 2016
New angle on an old scam
It’s merely the latest example of a common scam tactic. Last month, we reported how scammers were sending emails purportedly from various high street stores, promising huge vouchers in return for filling out an online form.
If you clicked on the link, you were taken to a site that looks as though it belongs to the company in question. Again, you were asked to hand over your mobile phone number, and were then unwittingly signed up to a premium rate text service charging £5 a go.
How to stay safe
It’s easy to fall for these scams as the emails look legit – and it’s even more convincing if you happen to be a customer of that company.
The first thing you should do is check the sender's email address – if it isn’t from the retailer in question, alarm bells should start ringing.
Spelling mistakes in the mail are another sign it could be a scam.
Thirdly, do some research online to see if there are other mentions of the promotion or offer.
Finally, just use your common sense. If an offer seems too good to be true, chances are it’s a con.