Cybercriminals use fake Shein gift cards to trick victims into handing over their banking details online.
A new scam has taken Instagram by storm this month, with people around the world being targeted for money.
Virus scanner Avast says the scam usually starts with a simple comment, congratulating users for winning a fashion retailer gift card.
To claim this, victims are encouraged to click the link on a scammer’s page where they may be pressured to complete a short survey.
In one example, users had only two minutes to answer questions such as ‘Do you agree with SHEIN’s product prices?’ and ‘How do you intend to use the SHEIN Gift Card?’.
Criminals are now using fake Shein gift cards to trick victims into handing over their bank details
Virus scanner, Avast, claims the scam often starts with a simple congratulatory comment
Regardless of your answers, it is understood that victims will always proceed to the next stage, where they are presented with a screen full of wrapped gifts.
The site will then give users three chances to click on a winning box.
Avast claims that the first one will always be empty, which makes the plot even more realistic.
It is understood that the Shein reward will still be awarded after the second click on the box, with the scam site claiming prizes range from £25 to £2,000.
But scammers often claim that they will need an address and postage payment to send that gift card in a few days.
This is when users are encouraged to hand over their personal data, including a name, phone number, email, and bank details.
As a result, Avast claims that victims unknowingly subscribe to a subscription fee rather than a single postage payment.
In many countries the amount charged is not disclosed, but for France it is €2 followed by €33 per fortnight which equals £1.80 and £29.
Amid the scam, social media has been flooded with comments as some users claim they are bombarded with gift card offers every day.
One person tweeted, “Won about 14,000 Shein gift cards on Instagram this morning and spam accounts are tagging you on all of them.”
Another joked, “Why won’t my landlord let me pay my rent in SHEIN gift cards that I won on Instagram,” while one person also said, “The number of gift cards SHEIN wins on Instagram are amazing.”
Users may be pressured to complete a short survey before the “gift card” is finally awarded. Then, the site will then give users three chances to click on a winning box. Avast claims that the first one will always be empty, which makes the whole plot more realistic
The gift card scam isn’t the first to target Shein shoppers, with other schemes also luring victims with gifts.
Last year, Shein said, “We are aware of a scam claiming to provide a credit card number for free SHEIN items. This is fake and in no way endorsed by our company. Be careful when engaging online!’
A few months later, they tweeted again, “We have become aware of recent email scams falsely claiming to be from our company and can verify that this is not official SHEIN communication. Please feel free to contact us anytime through our customer service channels regarding official SHEIN offer emails…’
MailOnline approached Shein for a comment.
To protect against scams, Instagram recommends users to watch out for some key signs.
It is understood that the Shein reward will still be awarded after the second click on the box, with the scam site claiming prizes range from £25 to £2,000. After filling in payment information, victims unknowingly subscribe to a subscription rather than a single postage
Red flags often include someone asking for money, offering to send money, gift cards, or anything else.
Unverified accounts that appear to represent big brands or public figures are also considered untrustworthy, in addition to anyone asking for a fee to apply for a job.
Any fraudulent request can also be written with poor spelling and grammar, potentially from an account new to the platform.
Instagram said: “If you see something you think is a scam, you should avoid responding and report the scam to Instagram.
‘Keep in mind that your report is anonymous, unless you are reporting intellectual property infringement. The account you reported won’t see who reported it.’
Avast also added: “When you get information from an Instagram account (or other social networks), look for signs that the account is original and authentic.
“There are plenty of copycats and fraudulent accounts out there, but on closer inspection you can almost always spot signs that they are genuine.”
MailOnline has approached Instagram for a comment.
#Instagram #users #targeted #bots #fake #Shein #gift #card #contests