INDEPENDENT NEWS

'Toyota 80th Anniversary' Phishing Scam in Fiji

Published: Sat 5 Jun 2021 04:22 PM
Consumers are being warned not to participate in lotteries and surveys from unsolicited and unofficial individuals and phoney companies when using social media and other online platforms. The warning comes after a new online phishing scam is being widely circulated on social media such as Facebook and Messenger which is alluring consumers to participate in a questionnaire survey in order to get into a draw to win a brand-new Toyota Corolla.
The link which is currently being circulated among Fijians states “Congratulations! Toyota 80th Anniversary Celebration! Through the questionnaire, you will have a chance to get a Toyota Corolla.” The link urges consumers to answer a quick questionnaire after which it captures the user’s IP address. The page also displays fake comments which are prominently positive. Some of the comments include: “I thought it was a joke, but it arrived this morning!” and “I participated, I won and I received after 5 days. Thank you so much guys!”
The Council Chief Executive Officer, Ms Seema Shandil says that scams like these are not new to Fiji’s shores and are especially prevalent in times crises.
“Two months ago, we had seen a similar Viber scam claiming that a smartphone user has won a hefty amount of cash, and no doubt this is just another round of a phishing scam where whoever is on the other side of your device is just waiting for you to click on this attractive looking link. Once the consumer clicks on the link in hopes to win a car, and fills in the questionnaire along with his/her personal details, the scammer will then have access to your IP address which puts people’s personal information at risk of being stolen,” stated Ms Shandil.
ASCO Motors Fiji Financial Controller and Company Secretary Mr Ronald Kumar has also clarified that no such promotion is being run by Toyota and has stressed that Fijians must refrain from participating in it.
“There is no campaign and promotion as such on social media. There is also global news around scams using names of reputable brands, such as Toyota, to launch phishing attacks. We are asking the general public to please refrain from doing things requested through unofficial social media channels,” Mr Kumar said.
Mr Kumar further added that if there is any promotion which is to be run by Asco Motors Fiji or Toyota itself, they would announce it through official channels/sources, which would be their official social media channels, authorised distributors and official media partners.
The Council is urging Fijian consumers who come across such scams to refrain from indulging in it and alert their friends, families and other social media users about such online frauds. They must also refrain from sharing such posts.
Meanwhile, the Council thanks all those who have been flagging such matters to the Council, in efforts to create a safer digital space for Fijians who have access to social media accounts.

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