A fake WhatsApp message has been doing rounds across the platform that’s duping users into believing they have won a gift card for a 7 days free stay at Taj Hotels. Also Read - WhatsApp reveals what will happen to your account if you don't accept new privacy terms
“It has come to our notice that a website has been promoting a Valentine’s Day initiative, offering a Taj Experiences Gift Card via WhatsApp. We would like to inform you that Taj Hotels/IHCL has not offered any such promotion. We request to take note of this and exercise due caution,” the luxury hotel chain said. Also Read - How to enable/disable dark mode on WhatsApp mobile app, Web
It has come to our notice that a website has been promoting a Valentine’s Day initiative, offering a Taj Experiences Gift Card via WhatsApp. We would like to inform that Taj Hotels/IHCL has not offered any such promotion. We request to take note of this and exercise due caution.
— Taj Hotels (@TajHotels) January 30, 2021
What is the scam?
As per a Business Today report, a WhatsApp forward with the text: “I received a gift card from TAJ Hotel and finally got the chance to stay in TAJ Hotel for 7 days for free.” appears with a link.
When a user clicks the link a message pops up stating: “TAJ EXPERIENCES GIFT CARD TAJ Hotel sent out 200 gift cards to celebrate Valentine’s Day. You can use this card to stay for 7 days at any hotel in TAJ for free. All you have to do is open the correct gift box. You have 3 tries, good luck!”
When a user clicks on “Ok”, the page gets redirected to a short questionnaire that asks for your gender and how you would rate the hotel and if you have heard of Taj Hotels.
After a user has answered these questions he/she will be further directed to a page that shows 12 red boxes with the Tata Motors symbol on it.
Users must click on a random box to see if they have won the gift card. If anyone wins a gift card, they will be asked to go to the next page to claim their prize. There you will be asked to forward the message to either five groups of 20 individual accounts on WhatsApp.
This is a classic way scamsters dupe WhatsApp users to click on links that may contain malware. This is another way of false promotion and many fall victim to such practices.