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Warning over WhatsApp phishing message doing rounds offering ‘free Easter chocolate basket’

It might sound obvious to many but police are warning of a phishing scam offering free Easter chocolate basket doing the rounds on WhatsApp.

The message, claiming to be from a chocolate manufacturer, encourages the recipient to open the message to win a “free Easter chocolate basket”.

This message is a scam and has been received by people in Northern Ireland and further afield.

Superintendent Gerard Pollock, Chair of Scamwise NI, said: “This is an attempt to get your personal details so that you can be targeted for a more sophisticated scam in the future. People who fall victim to this scam are often targeted later.

“The criminals who sent this message may use your details to pose as your bank in the days, weeks and months ahead. So if you have fallen victim to this scam you may receive increased scam calls or texts in the near future.

“My advice is do not click on the message. Delete it and do not forward it.”

Meanwhile, if you receive a suspicious message, whether by email, website or text message you can take the following actions:

· Email – if you feel unsure about an email you have received, you can forward it to the Suspicious Email Reporting Services at report@phishing.gov.uk

· Website – If you have come across a website which you think is fake, you can report it here Report a suspicious website – https://www.ncsc.gov.uk/section/about-this-website/report-scam-website

· Text message – Report suspicious text messages for free to 7726. Your provider can investigate the text and take action if found to be fraudulent.

For further advice and information visit www.nidirect.gov.uk/scamwiseni or the ScamwiseNI Facebook page @scamwiseni.

If you have any concerns about unsolicited calls, emails or letters then please report it to Action Fraud via their website www.actionfraud.police.uk or by phoning 0300 123 2040. You can also call police on the non-emergency number 101.

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