As experienced as I am handling e-mails, Facebook and other social interactions looking out for scams.. well the latest from #ADIDAS – the massive sports goods company caught me out!
Simply, the look and feel of the offer was unbelievably genuine looking. From the graphics and enticement, the sales pitch, and of course the urgency.
The alarm bells should have rung in my head when the urgency to act fast overtook my usual reality check. The message was straight to the point: " celebration, get a free pair of shoes" (my words paraphrasing). And all the time the timer was counting down… but not a clock per se, you understand, but the number of shoe pairs left in the offer.. 250, 249, 248… moving very fast, second by second.
I was about to click on the link to fill in the required info (I think it was e-mail), and I was saved by a friend, who clearly had my best interests at heart and phoned.."DONT CLICK ANY ADIDAS OFFER FOR FREE SHOES. IT IS A PHISHING HOAX. IT IS EVERYWHERE. MASSIVE" Thank god one of the local papers had it covered and was quoting the widespread scam. Adidas corporate was of course reacting. But their response initially was strange.. "We’ll look into it". German reticence, corporate carefulness? Heavens knows. It seemed so inconsequential. Luckily, I did not click any link in the advertisement. Nor should you.
Amazing isn’t it? Of all the times in my head is ringing.. "if it looks too good to be true, then it probably is". But why would this one be so different?
BECAUSE it was so slick and convincing. No spelling errors, all the website details looked correct. Nothing amiss. It must have cost a bomb to develop the advertisement I saw. It engaged me. Instantly.
Now, curiously, my #ADIDAS #hoax message came in on WHATSAPP as a message/weblink while the reference mentioned by the website below is to Facebook. Put the kids, or grandkids’ benefit out of your mind in times like this. Be mindful of the cleverness at play here. Whatever, wherever, do not be sucked in. Apparently, many got caught, especially the younger generations.