The pre-GST sales has taken the Internet by storm in the last few weeks as we witnessed budget-conscious consumers rushing to offline stores as well as online retail outlets to buy various items at the cheapest price tags. Meanwhile, some fraudsters have been tricking WhatsApp users into sharing their personal details for ordering hot-selling products such as Xiaomi Redmi Note 4 at dirt-cheap prices through some fake websites.

WhatsApp pre-GST sale scam
WhatsApp pre-GST sale scam hits Xiaomi fans on the social media appIBTimes India/Vinod Yalburgi

With the onset of GST on July 1, the pre-GST sales have ended at most of these retail outlets. However, the scammers have been circulating a fake advert with a WhatsApp message claiming that Amazon India is still holding this exclusive sale on electronic products and they can be bought at dirt-cheap prices during the sale.

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Xiaomi Redmi Note 4 pre-GST sale scam hits WhatsApp

Xiaomi Redmi Note 4 pre-GST sale scam on WhatsApp
Xiaomi Redmi Note 4 pre-GST sale scam on WhatsAppWhatsApp

One of the biggest scams includes an advert on Xiaomi Redmi Note 4 sale, which is currently making the rounds on WhatsApp. The ad message claims that the handset is now available in 32GB and 64GB variants at just Rs 1,099 and Rs 1,299 respectively, as part of the extended pre-GST sale.

Other products offered for as little as one rupee

There have been numerous other products that have been included in the WhatsApp pre-GST scam. The HP 16GB pen drives are being offered at just one rupee, JBL Bluetooth speaker is priced at Rs 59 and Philips trimmers are offered for Rs 6 a piece.

How does this scam work?

If you are still wondering what's behind this scam or how does it benefit the scammers, especially when the offer sounds too good to resist with a Cash on Delivery (COD) option. The scammers are apparently using a click-bait link with the advert that shows Amazon pre-GST sale with an amazon logo.

Unsuspecting users end up clicking on the advert and it will redirect them to a fake website that's littered with ads and scam links. You will be prompted to fill in your personal details including name, email ID and address (as you would do while placing any genuine order).

The catch here is that you will have to forward the message with the advert to eight WhatsApp groups in order to confirm the order. At this point, you have literally spread the scam across your network of contacts in the false belief that you got a lightning deal at an unbeatable price.

Once you have completed sharing the fake advert on WhatsApp, you will receive an order ID and a prompt to download UC News App on your handset.

After installing the malicious app, you will receive the COD option which is useless as you will never receive the ordered item. All your personal info will be shared to ad-hoc marketing companies in exchange for money.