REVEALED: The fake Tesco competition email scam that tempts customers into handing over banking details with promises of prizes
- Scammers are sending fake competition emails luring victims with “limited” prizes to steal banking details and personal information
- Tesco confirms it would never ask customers to pay money in exchange for a reward
- Tesco warns that it doesn’t run any competitions via email or social media offering free vouchers or rewards for liking, sharing and commenting on social media posts
Fraudsters are running a fake Tesco competition by email that tempts customers into handing over banking details with the promise of prizes – and could drain cash from their accounts.
A reader has written to This is Money to warn others about an email where the sender purports to be from Tesco. It promises various free prizes in exchange for personal information following the completion of a “survey” and money for a “postage fee”.
The reader, who wished to remain anonymous, said: ‘I received an email to my personal email account from a very authentic Tesco site saying I am eligible for entry in a prize draw if I complete a customer satisfaction survey.
Retailer Tesco has confirmed that this email with promises of various free limited products is a scam.
‘As a Tesco customer I decided to take the survey, winning a choice of one of three prizes. I opted for the CBC oil. The winner was asked to only pay postage of £4.95. I clicked the link for the goods which did not lead to the product I had selected (CBC oil).
‘I became suspicious and called Tesco customer service department, which had no idea about the offer – it was a scam. I sent the real Tesco the email and pics of the scam Tesco site.
‘They said they would look into the matter. I have heard nothing back from Tesco yet.’
The scammers try to get victims to part with their money in order to claim their “prize”
Tesco has since confirmed that the competition and survey is a scam.
A spokesperson said: ‘We would never ask customers to pay money in exchange for a reward.
‘If a customer is ever unsure about a suspicious email, they can always check by calling our customer service team on 0800 50 55 55.’
It’s not the first time that scammers have used the ruse that their emails or texts come from legitimate companies like Tesco.
Last year there were also reports that criminals were using WhatsApp to send fake supermarket vouchers purporting to be from Tesco and other retailers like Asda and Aldi.
Fake emails or texts promise people they are owed money, free vouchers, rewards points or prizes but are sophisticated attempts to fleece unsuspecting victims out of their hard earned cash.
The emails will also typically include links that take people to websites where their personal information (such as banking details) can be stolen.
To prompt a quick reaction from victims, the content of the emails may contain threats or warnings about “deals” expiring if no action is taken.
Tesco warns on its website that it doesn’t run any competitions via email or social media offering free vouchers or rewards for liking, sharing and commenting on posts.
The retailer also warns about fake ‘Tesco Offers’ pages that pop up on Facebook, saying: ‘We don’t have a separate “offers” page. The fake voucher giveaway is just the bait used to trick people in engaging with the bogus page and there are no real prizes up for grabs.’
Tesco’s tips on how to identify and protect yourself from email scams
Scammers try all sorts of tricks to make you believe that what they say and ask for comes from a legitimate source like a bank, retailer or government body. Here Tesco offers some advice on how to identify these scams and shows how it makes contact with its customers:
It comes from an unfamiliar email address: The email address might be a combination of words sometimes containing the name of the organisation to make it look more “legitimate”, i.e. email@example.com.
If it’s a company that you’re a customer of, phone them to confirm it’s a legitimate message.
Don’t use the phone number supplied in the email. Visit their website and use the contact details there.
It’s not personalised: Companies will typically use your name in the email.
It’s asking you to click on a link and supply personal information: Legitimate brands will never ask you to supply sensitive details via link or email as it’s not secure. And they’ll never ask for your password or PIN.
The email contains spelling errors: Although brands do occasionally make spelling mistakes, it’s unusual – particularly if there’s more than one.
Tesco does monitor accounts: Tesco says it monitors customers’ accounts to prevent fraud. If it spots unusual activity the retailer may need to contact you to check that you conducted the transactions. ‘When we do this, we’ll never ask for your password or bank details,’ says Tesco.
If you get an email that you think is a scam, send it to firstname.lastname@example.org