February has started and it's the season of love as couples anticipate spending some quality time with their loved ones on the occasion of Valentine's Day. Couples might already be looking for some deals on making this day special and scammers are equally excited to fulfil their ill intentions. One tempting scam is already on the prowl and it could even lure some unsuspecting victims.
If something is too good to be true, it is best to stay away from it. One good example many might relate to is a 7-day free stay at Taj Hotel on the occasion of Valentine's Day.
There's a viral message being shared extensively on WhatsApp groups, WhatsApp statuses and even on social media, claiming to offer a free stay at Taj luxury hotel. The message comes across as a promotional message by Taj on the occasion of Valentine's Day. Participants could win a coupon or gift card that can be redeemed at Taj Hotels for a 7-day all-paid staycation.
"I received a gift card from Taj Hotel and got a chance to stay in Taj for 7 days for free," the message reads, along with a link.
Since the message is usually shared by known contacts, people are likely to fall for it.
International Business Times received and reviewed the viral message. At once, we were able to deem the message fake. The biggest giveaway was the link, which did not have Taj Hotels or IHCL web address. Then there is the fact that no such free coupon giveaway has been shared on WhatsApp, being randomly circulated to users. If there are any such offers from Taj, it would be at least communicated through official means, the website or social media channels.
In addition to debunking the contents of the viral message, Taj Hotels also issued a clarification about the so-called offer.
"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 wrote in a tweet.
But that's not it. The viral message has the potential to be dangerous. The Mumbai Police Cyber wing warned users to stay clear of the viral message and to avoid clicking the link if received it. The link in the message is suspected to have malware hidden and clicking it could have serious consequences like your personal data, passwords, bank details can be leaked or worse the system and phone could be hacked.