Flipkart, one of India’s top online shopping sites, has warned users not to click on suspicious links or otherwise give credence to purported offers from the website seen on social media platforms.
“With the Flipkart Big Billion Days just round the corner, a host of fake offers and discounts are being offered on various fraudulent websites. These offers are being circulated via email, SMS or WhatsApp messages, and have been created with the sole intention of misleading and cheating buyers, by misappropriating the familiar and trustworthy name of Flipkart,” the website said.
It is routine for fraudsters to send out lucrative offers — mostly by WhatsApp — promising to deliver huge rewards if the recipient clicks on a link. Previous fake offers have included Samsung phones being sold for Rs 1 by Amazon, WhatsApp launching a special gold version of the app and so on.
Once the recipient clicks on the link, his smartphone or PC is infected with a virus and the same message is also auto forwarded to others in his or her contact list. Infected smartphones and PCs are a security risk and can be used to extract banking passwords, OTPs and other information from the victim. They can also be used to launch denial of service attacks against other companies.
In some cases, the fraudsters even collect money, claiming to represent some other website or firm.
“We urge our customers not to trust these websites with their money, or personal and financial information,” Flipkart warned. “Clicking on these fraudulent websites might put the user’s computer as well as their personal and financial information in danger. We appeal to our customers and all online shoppers in India to exercise caution while interacting with websites that may claim to offer discounts on behalf of Flipkart.”
The Big Billion Days Sale will take place from October 2nd to October 6th, 2016, and will be conducted exclusively across the Flipkart website, app and mobile site.
“Apart from these, Flipkart has not authorized any third party websites or online platforms to represent them or their group companies, including Myntra. All offers, deals and discounts applicable to the Big Billion Days Sale will be announced exclusively on Flipkart, as well as official media vehicles and social media handles owned, managed and operated by Flipkart.”
The Big Billion Day Sale will start on Sunday, Oct 2 with fashion, home appliances and TV offers, followed by mobile and accessory sale on the next day and other electronic items on Oct 4. There will be an ‘all items’ sale on 5th and 6th October as well.