Hyderabad: A WhatsApp message containing a link claims that Hermes, a French luxury goods manufacturer, is giving out free gifts for everyone as part of its 184th anniversary celebration.
The link provided can be viewed here.
NewsMeter found that the link is fake and no such offer is being provided by Hermes of Paris.
When we clicked the link, we were directed to what looked like a Hermes website. The website asked users to complete questionnaires in order to receive a Hermes bag. Later, the user is asked to click on the link and is given three chances to select a gift. We noticed that users win a gift at the second chance. This indicates that the link is fake.
Next, we noticed it did not look like the official Hermes page and neither did it redirect us to the official website. We clicked on the menu option ad found it was not functioning either.
Third, once users win their "prizes", it asks them to share the link to any five or 20 WhatsApp friends or groups to claim their prize. It also asks them to enter their personal and financial details. This pattern has been noticed in many scams. Scams like this take the information of a user and hack their electronic devices. It connects the link to the IP address of the user and is a common method in hacking and stealing information. They also sell your personal information, making you vulnerable to online fraud.
NewsMeter also found a tweet by the official page of Cyber Crime, Gwentpolice of Wales, United Kingdom (UK), that read, "Scam alert- lookout for fake Hermes, phishing emails that show your name and address, including a look like a sender address. Do not click the emails, weblinks or attachments."
Hence, the viral link is a HOAX.
NewsMeter advises you to stay alert and not click on such links.