WhatsApp users across the city are being warned of a scam which is defrauding users out of parting with their personal details.

The scam appears as though big-brand names such as Marks & Spencer, Tesco, Asda, Nike, Lidl, Aldi - and even Singapore Airlines - are offering money-off vouchers.

Worryingly, the message comes through as if it has done so from a trusted contact.

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However, users of the hugely-popular app - which has around a billion users worldwide - are being warned it is a scam and to not click into any link provided.

One example message reads: “Hello, Tesco is giving away a £250 Free Voucher to celebrate its 98th anniversary, go here to get it. Enjoy and thank me later!”

Those who click on the convincing-looking URL are then taken to a fake website designed to trick them into handing over personal information.

Thankfully, ActionFraud - the UK’s national fraud and cybercrime reporting centre - has stepped in to give some insight into how users can protect themselves:

  • Install security software on your device and keep it up to date.
  • Never click on unsolicited links in messages that you receive - even if they appear to come from a trusted contact.
  • Follow WhatsApp’s advice for staying safe whilst using the messaging service. Click here to learn more.

The scam comes exactly one year after ActionFraud warned of an identical one which saw fraudsters send out fake Sainsbury’s and Topshop deals through the app.

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They, too, appeared as though they had been sent by a trusted contact.

To report fraud and cybercrime - and receive a police crime reference number - call Action Fraud on 0300 123 2040. Alternatively, use the online fraud reporting tool here.

News of the scam comes on the day a new action plan aimed at tackling cybercrime has been unveiled by the Scottish Government.

Deputy First Minister John Swinney said the strategy, developed with industry experts on the National Cyber Resilience Leaders' Board, would help make Scotland one of the safest places to live, work and do business in.