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30 Nov 2018

Which? warns of JD Sports WhatsApp scam

What you need to know about the scam and your next steps if you've already entered your personal details

JD Sports is the latest brand name being used by scammers on the messaging app WhatsApp to lure people into clicking on a link then stealing their data, Which? has found.

The message promises a £215 voucher to the popular retailer in celebration of their 50th birthday - the chain was actually founded 37 years ago.

Which? has contacted JD Sports and informed them of the scam.

Read more: How to spot a messaging scam

How the JD Sports scam works

The message is designed to entice you to click on the link, whichtakes you to a site aimed at infecting your device with malware and stealing your personal data.

Malware is any type of software designed to intentionally damage a computer - whether to do harm to the computer itself or to harvest your data. It's often also called spyware, Trojan or a virus.

The sites linked to from WhatsApp messaging scams also often ask people to enter personal details to send the bogus gift voucher to.

Scammers with this personal information can then add you to a 'sucker list' to be re-targeted for other scams which might see you lose your savings.

So, if you've become a victim of this kind of messaging scam stay vigilant to other scam attempts.

Which? can also help you decide which type of mobile security softwareis best for your phone and whether you need it.

The messaging scam is almost identical toa spate of scam messages we saw earlier this year, pretending to be discounts from big-name retailers such as Costa Coffee, Sainsbury's and Morrisons.

Read more: Which? warns of Costa Coffee messaging scam

What to do if you get the JD Sports scam message

If you're sent the JD Sports scam WhatsApp message, you shouldn't follow any links or reply - if you respond you could alert the fraudsters to the fact your number is active and in-use.

If you think you've been targeted by a scam message you should:

  • Never reply
  • Never follow any links
  • Never share any personal information, banking details or your Pin

You should also contact the organisation the scammer is pretending to be from so they can investigate it.

Read more:How to avoid messaging scams

The rise of messenger scams

Earlier this year, our research found one in three people had been sent a fraudulent text in the previous six months.

The most common message was from criminals pretending to be from the HMRC stating the target was due a sizeable tax refund.

Read more: Which? finds one in three people have been sent a messaging scam

Other common scam messages included:

  • You've won a competition (that you'd never entered) - 34%
  • Owed money from an old injury claim - 32%
  • Your PayPal account is locked, click here or You have funds, click here to view - 29%
  • Free giveaway item - 24%
  • Make money fast - 23%
  • Missed delivery - 18%
  • Your iTunes/Apple account is frozen, click link to activate - 18%
  • Someone has hacked your bank account - 16%
  • Someone has hacked your social media account - 12%
  • Need to pay a subscription fee for a service - 12%
  • Lottery scam message - 10%
  • Luxury goods or clothing discounts - 7%

If you think you've been sent a scam, whether it's in the post, in an email or in a message, you should always report it.

Read more:How to get your money back a scamand how to report a scam.