Online shopping through e-commerce sites like Lazada and Shopee has boomed during the COVID-19 pandemic, particularly because people want to avoid heading out and potentially getting exposed to the virus. Not to mention, the monthly sales that offer marked down prices on goods are too appealing to pass up for many consumers.
In light of this, those with malicious intentions have taken advantage of the online shopping hype by targeting users of e-commerce apps and extorting money from them. If you're a suki of e-commerce app Lazada, watch out for fishy SMS messages claiming to be from the website.
A report by Rappler says that one user claimed that they received a text message from the Lazada SMS account stating that they've won a prize, and that they'd have to answer a survey through a link to claim it. When they did click on the link, the user was asked to share their credit card information, apart from having them pay 25 euros, in order to claim the prize.
If you have received a text message that looks like this, refrain from clicking the link:
As per the news site, Lazada confirmed that no such campaign exists and that they do not ask for customers' credit card details outside of the Lazada platform. They are also looking into how the Lazada SMS account was used to send such messages to users.
Senator Sherwin Gatchalian also spoke up about the phishing incident being circulated through SMS, calling for the public to be extra vigilant with such messages and asking concerned agencies to amplify their campaigns against such incidents.
In cases like this, experts advise to be extra mindful of messages you receive. Some messages may realistically resemble official accounts and brands, but are actually fake. If you receive messages containing unrecognizable and fishy URLs, it's best not to click them to avoid potential scams.
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