Date
29 March 2017
In a Facebook post, Starbucks denies having anything to do with the WhatsApp text message. Photos: Bloomberg, Facebook
In a Facebook post, Starbucks denies having anything to do with the WhatsApp text message. Photos: Bloomberg, Facebook

Fake Starbucks text could be phishing scheme, experts warn

Internet security experts have warned netizens against a fake Starbucks text message circulating on WhatsApp that offers a US$500 voucher purportedly from the coffee chain to anyone who will take its survey.

The message could be a phishing scheme aimed at obtaining the personal information of those who click on the message’s link, Headline Daily reported on Tuesday.

Warren Wang, one of those who received the message, “Take a one minute survey to get a US$500 Starbucks voucher”, made an enquiry at Starbucks to determine if what it says is true.

Starbucks Hong Kong said on its Facebook page that the company is not holding such a survey or promotional activity.

The firm is investigating the source of the text message, although it has no estimate as to the number of people so far affected.

It said its promotional activities and public announcements are published on its Facebook account.

Francis Fong, chairman of the Hong Kong Consumer Electronics Alliance, warned that various messages have been circulating on the internet and mobile messaging platforms such as WhatsApp inviting people to join a survey or take advantage of a promotional offer.

However, once users click on the link, they may be opening themselves up to a Trojan virus that could invade the Android or iOS system on their smartphone, Fong said.

Even if the link is safe, risks still remain as hackers could steal their personal information such as name, phone number and address, he said, adding that users must ascertain the source of such messages.

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KZ/AC/CG

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