BEWARE: WhatsApp message claiming to be from Checkers is fake news
DURBAN – The Shoprite Group is asking all consumers to be aware of a WhatsApp message scam that is doing the rounds.
The group confirmed in a statement that a WhatsApp message claiming to come from Checkers’ head office in Cape Town is fake news.
The message says that certain products will be scarce over the next month, including sugar, fish oil, rice, flour and soap powder, and urges people to stock up and tell friends and family.
According to retailer, this is not true. The Shoprite Group’s stores, including Shoprite, Checkers and USave, are fully stocked on all these products and urges customers not to stockpile as this causes supply-chain challenges.
The group has also reassured customers the retailer continues to supply essential products and there is not a shortage of any of the products listed.
"It is against the law to disseminate fake news relating to the coronavirus crisis, or to forward this fake news," said the Shoprite Group in a statement.
During this period of the coronavirus pandemic, the South African Banking Risk Information Centre (Sabric) has also warned bank clients that cybercriminals are exploiting the spread of coronavirus for their own gain using “Coronamania” panic to spread coronavirus scams.
In a statement, Sabric said that coronavirus scams exploit people’s concerns for their health and safety and pressure them into being tricked using social engineering.
Social engineering is manipulative and exploits human vulnerability because criminals know that the weakest link in the information security chain is the human being.
These new scams include spoofed emails offering products such as masks or fake offerings of vaccines, leading to phishing websites.
SMS Phishing, more commonly known as SMishing, is also used to trick victims into clicking on a link disguised as information on a coronavirus breakout in their area to steal their credentials