Woolies warning over scam Facebook page offering free groceries

Melissa Buttigieg
News Reporter

Woolworths has warned shoppers of an apparent scam that has popped up on Facebook, with an unauthorised supermarket page offering “free groceries”.

The Woolworths Fans page, which is not affiliated with the supermarket giant, currently has more than 25,500 followers.

In a post on Sunday, followers were urged to share the page with their Facebook friends for a chance to win a year’s worth of free groceries.

The Facebook page also promoted other giveaways in previous months, in exchange for shares and likes.

However, some social media users have warned others against doing this, calling out the page as a phishing scam.

Woolworths has warned of an apparent phishing scam targeting Facebook users. Source: Woolworths Fans / Facebook

“Woolworths Fans page is a scam so please stop liking and sharing guys, you will NOT win a year's worth of groceries,” one woman warned.

“I got this info from the OFFICIAL Woolworths page that they are in no way affiliated with this page.”

Another woman wrote that sharing the page was “compromising your friends security”.

“Commonsense would have you look at the page first, and if it has no website, address, or other details, and is a well known business, listed as a community, it is fairly obvious it is not a valid page,” she pointed out.

One of the apparent 'bogus' Woolies giveaways offered on an unauthorised Woolworths Fan Facebook page. Source: Woolworths Fans / Facebook

Woolworths trying to have fake Facebook page removed

A Woolies spokesperson confirmed to Yahoo News on Wednesday that the fan page was not an authorised Woolworths Facebook page, and is not affiliated with the supermarket in any way.

“We have contacted Facebook to ask for the page to be taken down promptly,” they added.

“We encourage our customers to be vigilant of online phishing scams, which seek to imitate well-known brands to collect personal information.”

The supermarket added that it regularly reported scams to the ACCC's SCAM Watch and updates Scam Alert information on its website to help keep customers secure online.

Woolworths regularly reports phishing scams to the ACCC's ScamWatch and warned customers to be vigilant. Source: Getty, file

What is a phishing scam?

“Phishing messages are designed to look genuine, and often copy the format used by the organisation the scammer is pretending to represent, including their branding and logo,” according to the ACCC’s ScamWatch.

“If you provide the scammer with your details online or over the phone, they will use them to carry out fraudulent activities, such as using your credit cards and stealing your money.”

Woolworths confirmed it regularly reported to ScamWatch the emails, SMS messages, and phone scams that claim to be authentic communication from Woolworths to customers.

“They are often specially designed to look genuine, and often copy features from legitimate communications such as our logo and branding,” Woolies warned.

It said the links in these scam messages go to “fake” websites that will look like legitimate Woolworths branded websites, but will often have a slightly different address.

A year ago, Woolworths and Coles warned customers of a national mobile phone scam, after reports of people winning bogus gift cards or other prizes.

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