Blog

Rajiv Singha
Beware of the WhatsApp scam that promises free Adidas shoes!
February 12, 2018

  • 99
    Shares
50
Estimated reading time: 3 minutes

So, this other day I get a forwarded message from a friend early in the morning. I thought it was the usual good morning message but it was not and read as follows:

“Adidas is giving away 3000 Free Pair of Shoes to celebrate its 93rd anniversary. Get your free shoes at <link>”

It didn’t take me long to deduce that this message was part of a scam – thanks to my profession. But, to other users (like my friend here), such messages may appear genuine. So, I told my friend that the message was fake and not to forward it any further. Later, I did these 3 things.

1) I checked the actual link

I copied the link and paste it to my ‘notes’ app. As you can see, on the outside, the link reads http://adidas.com but the actual URL is http://xn--adids-m11b.com/ – which, in any way, does not look like it is related to Adidas.

When I clicked on the link (in a safe environment), it took me to a page that was not loading and displayed an error message. But, it is safe to assume that the page was designed to steal personal information or bank details or drop a malware on the device.

WhatsApp Scam Adidas

Fig 1


2) I ran the link on https://www.scamadviser.com

Scamadvisor.com helps check if a website is safe or not. The result for my link was as I had expected:

• Suspicious
• Hidden identity

 

Fig 2

 

3) I visited the official website of Adidas

As a rule of thumb, I visited www.adidas.com (co.in as well) to verify the offer advertised in the message. And for obvious reasons, I could not find anything related to it – because there was not any offer in the first place.

So, what do we take away from this post?

• Never act on messages that urge you to click on a link – especially when they talk about offers (discounts, contests, promotions, etc.)

• Follow the steps mentioned in this post to verify the source and authenticity of such messages.

• If you receive such messages from a friend, advise them not to act (click on a link or reply) and not to share them with their contacts.

• If you have received such a message from an unknown number, consider blocking it.

• Install a mobile antivirus app that can block your access to harmful websites and installation of infected apps.

WhatsApp Anti-Spam feature
Given the popularity of WhatsApp across the world, it is no wonder that scammers are trying to use this app to widen their kill zone. In-mid Jan 2018, news emerged that WhatsApp is testing a new anti-spam feature which will help users stay away from spam messages (like the ones discussed in this post). This feature will be developed for both iOS and Android. So, let’s hope the feature is rolled out soon and gives us a break from such pesky, unworldly scams!

You may read more about this anti-spam feature here

If you found this post helpful, then share it with your friends on Facebook, WhatsApp (on mobile) or Twitter by using the share buttons below. Stay safe!

  • 99
    Shares

Have something to add to this story? Share it in the comments.

Rajiv Singha
About Rajiv Singha
Rajiv is an IT security news junkie and a computer security blogger at Quick Heal. He is passionate about promoting cybersecurity awareness, content and digital...
Articles by Rajiv Singha »

50 Comments

Your email address will not be published.

CAPTCHA Image

  1. thank you for the information it will help many

    Reply
  2. Sushant ChaudhariFebruary 13, 2018 at 1:17 PM

    Thank you Rajib, This helps. QH Awesome software, beautiful creation.

    Reply
  3. Mohd TasleemFebruary 13, 2018 at 1:31 PM

    Nowadays, the hand phone is so vulnerable to such attacks. The messages are so convincing and appears to be so genuine that the user might get carried away.

    Thanks for the article!

    Reply
  4. Gurpreet singhFebruary 13, 2018 at 1:40 PM

    Thanks to you i had also shared this scam but when i had to choose my shoe size then it fails

    Reply
  5. RAHUL KUMAR RANJANFebruary 13, 2018 at 2:37 PM

    HELP ME

    Reply
  6. VERY INFORMATIVE, EYE OPENER AND TIMELY MESSAGE.
    I ALSO RECD. SUCH MESSAGE BUT DIDN’T OPENED IT.
    THANX RAJIB

    Reply
  7. Prakash JasaniFebruary 13, 2018 at 7:44 PM

    Good Information.

    Reply
  8. Sameer MahajanFebruary 13, 2018 at 7:56 PM

    Thanks for ur advice

    Reply
  9. BISWAJIT CHAKRAVARTYFebruary 14, 2018 at 10:05 AM

    I liked the content.

    Reply
  10. BISWAJIT CHAKRAVARTYFebruary 14, 2018 at 10:09 AM

    Please also let me know how shall I be able to share whatsapp mobile to alert others

    Reply
  11. Jitender kumarFebruary 14, 2018 at 11:32 AM

    Thanks Rajib for your valuable post. I will inform my Contacts.

    Reply
  12. SUNIL KUMAR JAINFebruary 14, 2018 at 2:26 PM

    A very good initiative. We are also able to learn to check the actual link by copying it and pasting it on notepad.

    Reply
  13. Thanks Rajib for alerting us and providing indepth info.

    Reply
  14. hello

    Reply
  15. neelesh mishraFebruary 14, 2018 at 5:42 PM

    I did click on the link twice but since it did not open so I had to discontinue. Is it still unsafe?

    Reply
  16. SUNIL PANCHOLIFebruary 14, 2018 at 6:05 PM

    thanks

    Reply
  17. Nice

    Reply
  18. manish78katiyar@gmail.comFebruary 14, 2018 at 9:31 PM

    thanks

    Reply
  19. sanjeev kumarFebruary 14, 2018 at 11:09 PM

    thank for giving information about fack commitment on whatsapp

    Reply
  20. AJAY GAHLAUTFebruary 15, 2018 at 9:33 AM

    Good post in interest of public.
    thanks

    Reply
  21. very recently I received a message in whatsapp from an unknown number starting with 1234… ending with my mobile no stating it as international telegraph check. As it was suspicious I had to delete my whatsapp account and had to reset my handset to factory data setting. Don’t know if it is safe enogh or not.

    Reply
  22. ANIRUDHA GANGULYFebruary 15, 2018 at 6:43 PM

    Sir,
    your article is very good.I will be aware in future to click in these lucratibe sites.

    Sincerely,
    Anirudha Ganguly

    Reply
  23. It’s really a very good knowledge point
    Thanks

    Reply
  24. Prafull KumarFebruary 16, 2018 at 4:31 AM

    There r very very good antivirus. Please used.. Thank so much .

    Reply
  25. sir i clicked this type of link……..please help me what should i do now

    Reply
  26. It’s encouraging to know about cyber security. Your article is very helpful. Please intimate us more.

    Reply
  27. Ashish Kumar ShrivastavFebruary 17, 2018 at 10:43 AM

    Thanks for informing for the news sir.

    Reply
  28. Good service

    Reply
  29. good job @ Rajib

    Reply
  30. Rajendra SaindaneFebruary 18, 2018 at 6:37 PM

    Posted article is very helpful to understand a fraud.
    thanks for alerting to us.

    regds,
    rajendra saindane

    Reply
  31. gopal krishna majumdarFebruary 19, 2018 at 2:02 PM

    Thanks for your informetion

    Reply
  32. Sunil ThomasFebruary 21, 2018 at 4:45 PM

    Great. Thanks for the alert, Rajib. Appreciate for promoting such cyber security awareness. Looking forward to more…

    Reply
  33. It’s a nice app

    Reply
  34. L Surya PrakashFebruary 23, 2018 at 2:49 PM

    Thank you Rajib .

    Reply
  35. Karan UniyalFebruary 24, 2018 at 7:25 PM

    I ALSO WAIT THIS SOFTWARE WHOES WHTSAP ANTI SPAM

    Reply
  36. ajayanitamow@gmail.comFebruary 25, 2018 at 2:14 PM

    LIKE IT

    Reply
  37. Jatin TalukdarFebruary 26, 2018 at 7:53 AM

    Quick heal antivirus is the best for my a droid

    Reply
  38. I appreciate your gesture… keeping blogging..

    Reply
  39. i want to know my subscription date of q heal

    Reply
  40. this app is awesome

    Reply
  41. Ajit V BhideMarch 9, 2018 at 7:08 AM

    Thank you, Mr Singha for the timely warning!

    Reply
  42. PARTHASARATHY V IYERMarch 10, 2018 at 10:28 AM

    very nice nature, super! super! super……………….

    Reply
  43. i checked his again and now the location is pakistan.

    loving quick heal total security.thumbs up.

    Reply