The internet is a haven for scam artists, and just when you begin to think that you've escaped being a victim, another scam comes knocking.
As the holiday season approaches, there tends to be an increase in scams aimed at shoppers and this year is no different. A new phishing scam has been going around targeting unsuspecting fans of the popular furniture store IKEA.
The new money-making scheme has been popular among WhatsApp circles, where users are sent a message offering them a fake store voucher.
According to Gulf News Society, the fraudulent message informs users that IKEA is celebrating its 75th birthday and as result they're giving away $500 coupons.
The message usually looks similar to this: "IKEA is giving away a free voucher of $500! To celebrate its 75th birthday, you can get your free voucher too! Don't miss it, click here to get your free $500 voucher from IKEA."
The link contained in the message redirects users to a webpage where they're required to provide some personal information before they can claim the fake coupon.
Since the phony message started receiving widespread attention, IKEA has issued a statement on its Facebook page to deter shoppers from falling for the phishing scam.
The furniture retailer confirmed that they are aware of the WhatsApp message scam and that it has nothing to do with the company.
"We'd like to clarify that we are not associated with these activities, and they are not initiated by IKEA. Please protect yourself by not sharing your personal information or clicking on any suspicious links. Do spread the word to your friends so they are aware."
So far the scam seems to be more popular among WhatsApp users in Asia and the Middle East, however there have been sporadic reports of people receiving similar messages in North America.
These bogus coupons aren't just limited to IKEA: in the past, names of other major retailers, like Costco, have also been used to trick users.
As a rule of thumb, avoid giving out your information on suspicious websites, text messages or emails. If you think you may be a victim of fraud, contact your financial institution right away! Check out the Better Business Bureau website for more tips on how to avoid falling for a phishing scam.
Have you received a fake IKEA coupon? Let us know!