A WhatsApp message saying that a coupon or a gift card being offered by Taj Hotels have been doing rounds with a link.
“I received a gift card from Taj Hotel and got a chance to stay in Taj for 7 days for free.” As soon as you click the link, a message pops up that reads, “TAJ EXPERIENCES GIFT CARD TAJ Hotel sent out 200 gift cards to celebrate Valentine’s Day. You can use this card to stay for 7 days at any hotel in TAJ for free. All you have to do is open the correct gift box. You have 3 tries, good luck!” BEWARE! It’s a scam.
Here’s how the fake message on WhatsApp looks:
When anyone clicks on the link, they are guided to some more steps, and ultimately the user must then click on any random box and try its luck to see if they have won the gift card. If the player wins the gift card then, it will ask the player to go to the next page to redeem the card. There it will ask the player to forward the message to either five groups of 20 individuals on WhatsApp.
Once the message goes viral, the Taj Hotels reacts and says “It has come to our notice that a website has been promoting a Valentine’s Day initiative, offering a Taj Experiences Gift Card via WhatsApp. We would like to inform you that Taj Hotels/IHCL has not offered any such promotion. We request to take note of this and exercise due to caution.”
It has come to our notice that a website has been promoting a Valentine’s Day initiative, offering a Taj Experiences Gift Card via WhatsApp. We would like to inform that Taj Hotels/IHCL has not offered any such promotion. We request to take note of this and exercise due caution.— Taj Hotels (@TajHotels) January 30, 2021
After coming across such fraud offers, the Mumbai cyber police has issued a warning to the public not to fall victim to such phishing attack links used to steal user data, including login credentials and credit card numbers. It occurs when an attacker, masquerading as a trusted entity, dupes a victim into opening an email, instant message, or text message.
DCP (Cyber) Rashmi Karandikar told TOI, “So far we did not receive any complaint. But the fraud offers have got viral on social media. But there are over dozens of inquiries on social media by people who had received such offers with links. Even Taj Hotels has tweeted that it’s a fake offer and they have not issued any offers.”