WhatsApp Users Warned of Fake Family Passes to UK Theme Park Attraction

Published July 26th, 2018 - 03:00 GMT
Peppa Pig World (Shutterstock/File Photo)
Peppa Pig World (Shutterstock/File Photo)

WhatsApp users have warned about a hoax message offering free family passes to Paultons Theme Park, the home of Peppa Pig World.

Fans of Peppa Pig who mistakenly believed the offer was genuine have been sharing the scam promotional message with friends and family to try to get free tickets to the theme park, which is found in Hampshire, England.

Those who receive the hoax text should avoid clicking the link, which takes WhatsApp users to a malicious website with an online form for users to input their personal information.

These details are then sent directly to the cyber criminals behind the hoax.

The Peppa Pig World scam has rapidly spread across social media, forcing Paultons Theme Park to speak out about the hoax.

Park bosses warned WhatsApp users not to share the malicious message with friends, and instead delete the text immediately.

Paultons has advised WhatsApp users not to reply to the hoax text, forward the message to friends, or click on the included link.

Those who tap on the malicious hyperlink included in the scam message are taken through to a site riddled with malicious software.

The page, which is not affiliated with any legitimate ticket sourcing site, requests users input personal information for a chance to get the free families passes to Peppa Pig world.

Paultons took to Twitter to combat rumours of the free tickets.

 

 

It cautioned: 'We have been made aware of a possible scam circulating via WhatsApp regarding Paultons tickets.

'This is not a genuine offer or in any way affiliated with Paultons Park.

'If you receive a message like this we urge you to delete it.'

The site was then forced to address the issue a few days later as the viral link gained momentum.

Paultons, after seeking professional advice, provided further advice to its customers in a statement posted on both Facebook and Twitter.

The park said on Twitter: 'We have been advised that a message offering 5 free passes to 500 families to Paultons is being shared on WhatsApp. Please note this is not a genuine offer and is not associated with Paultons Park.'

It then responded to concerned client, Sharon Cade, who tweeted: 'My daughter-in-law clicked on it, is there going to be any problems coming?'

The family amusement park was then forced to reply, saying it was 'unable to advise' as the nefarious message was not associated with the company.

Paultons posted an image on its Facebook page which showed a screenshot of the message and the accompanying URL.

This is the latest in a string of scams that have targeted WhatsApp, the most popular messaging app in the world.

Action Fraud found a variant of the scam targeting the clientele of Aldi, Marks & Spencer, Tesco, Asda, Nike, Lidl and even Singapore Airlines.

Alton Towers was also hit by a similar scam back in June, which offered free entry in an effort to entice users to click on a link inside the hoax text.

WhatsApp users who tapped on the link were taken to a website designed to resemble the homepage of the popular theme park.

A bogus message warned users there were only a limited number of tickets remaining, before encouraging visitors to quickly fill out a fraudulent survey.

After the questionnaire was completed, WhatsApp users were told to spread the fictitious offer on the Facebook-owned messenger.

Paige Wistow, from Derbyshire, was asked to answer four questions, which revealed her personal details to the cybercriminals behind the fake survey.

She told the BBC: 'Once I had answered the questions, the website told me to send the link to 20 WhatsApp friends to claim my prize.'

Alton Towers urged people to avoid the fake giveaway.

A spokesperson for the Staffordshire attraction said: 'We are aware of a ticket offer being shared on social media that claims to be from Alton Towers Resort.

'This is not a genuine offer, or in any way affiliated with Alton Towers.

'Action is being taken to remove this offer and we urge guests not to share their personal details or forward the offer to their contacts.'

Confused customers took to Twitter to express their concern after they were sent the message from friends, who had also been duped by the scam.

One user, known as Nicky, asked Alton Towers if the offer was legitimate.

In a reply, Alton Towers confirmed there was no such promotion and the text message being shared among WhatsApp users was a scam.

 

This article has been adapted from its original source.


© Associated Newspapers Ltd.

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