Scammers are targeting cash-strapped shoppers with the offer of '£175 worth of free groceries' at Lidl.
According to the latest supermarket voucher scam – seen on Twitter, Facebook and WhatsApp – Lidl is 'supporting the nation during Corona Pandemic'. The message then invites victims to click on a link and fill out a brief survey to get the £175 voucher.
As you can see from the tweet below, the fake link is http://www.lidl.uk-helping.club, which is controlled by the scammers, but there could be many different urls out there.
If you can't read the scam text highlighted in the tweet below, we've written it out in full here: "LIDL is giving away free grocery worth £175 to everyone this week to support the nation during the Corona Pandemic. Get your voucher: http://www.lidl.uk-helping.club"
Lidl has confirmed the offer is fake and should be ignored.
Hi Ayo, thanks for getting in touch. Unfortunately, it is a scam which we have reported already, Please refrain from sharing any personal data. Our apologies for any upset this may have caused. ^JS— @LidlGB (@LidlGB) May 18, 2020
The fake £175 Lidl offer page
Below is one example of how the page looks (it's possible the scammers have set up different versions), which appeared on the url http://www.lidl.uk-supporting.club/#.
It repeats the fake offer of "free groceries worth £175 to support the nation" and includes some seemingly innocuous questions on the right as part of a survey.
You're told you'll get the voucher "within 2 days" and includes a classic tactic used by scammers: it claims there are only a limited number of vouchers left (85 in the example below), compelling victims to act quickly before thinking it through.
If you'll recall, the initial message said it was giving away free vouchers to EVERYONE, so again it's a sign this is a fake offer.
If you do fill out the generic questions on the side, it will falsely claim you're definitely eligible for the Lidl voucher.
To claim your "free voucher" you're invited to share the amazing offer with 20 of your friends on WhatsApp – another classic scam tactic to keep the fake offer circulating – as you can see from the screengrab below.
Finally, you'll be asked to follow another link in which you need to share personal information that scammers can use to either steal money from your accounts or open accounts in your name.
How to tell the 'Lidl' offer is fake
The message, which usually contains grammatical errors, will claim you can bag an extremely generous voucher or coupon for a specific supermarket (we've seen all six major brands regularly mimicked).
However, you'll need to act fast as the offer is either time-limited or there are only a set number of vouchers available.
To claim yours, all you need to do is share some personal information and, ideally, share the offer with lots of other people so they can take advantage.
How can you tell it's fake? Primarily, supermarkets aren't in the habit of just handing out huge sums of money to people.
The messages will generally contain various spelling mistakes as well, another clear sign the offer was created by scammers.
Finally, supermarkets definitely won't ask you to share sensitive information out of the blue.
If you're really unsure, contact the supermarket in question by looking up its contact details separately – don't click any links or phone any numbers contained in the original message. Someone there will be able to tell you whether the offer is genuine.