Published: August 10, 2020 on our newsletter Security Fraud News & Alerts Newsletter.
While we may love their food, Chipotle Mexican Grill is being targeted with yet another scam. Chipotle fans everywhere are finding the promise of a $50 free food voucher to celebrate its 50th anniversary isn’t at all what they ordered. The fake $50 voucher posted on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, and more, urged recipients to blast the voucher link to personal contacts. Many Chipotle fans did exactly that and now regret being caught up in the scam, as well as involving 50 of their contacts in the farce.
One taker posted an apology to his pals after finding out the truth “I'm sorry to everyone I forwarded the Chipotle scam to. You have to do this stupid survey in order to get the gift card. So I'm sorry to the 50 people I sent it to.”
Red flags should have been waving all over this latest Chipotle scheme. First, because it’s wise to assume that if something sounds too good to be true, it is. Second, because Chipotle hasn’t been in existence for fifty years. The company is just 27 years old, so the idea of a 50th anniversary celebration doesn’t make sense at all. Third, just two years ago, the company found there were $100 food vouchers circulating online, and they were fake too. But for those who don’t remember or didn’t know about the previous scam, the truth about this latest one was deflating just the same.
This scam leaves many victims wondering why someone would make up a food voucher scam about Chipotle to begin with. The goal could be an email phishing scam, since to get the voucher, one must send the link to 50 contacts in order to qualify. Providing names of contacts leads to the hacker finding other information posted about them on social media. That information can be used for socially engineered attacks. These attacks target someone individually, including using their name and interests as a hook. The email looks like it was sent by a friendly contact, erasing any suspicions the recipient may have. These phishing emails usually contain infected links and malware attachments.
So, remember, it could be a hacker who’s sending it and it’s not your friend. Unless you are 100% sure that any link or attachment is safe, just don’t click it. And better yet, if such a great deal passes your way, take a minute or two and research it to find out if it’s legit before passing it on. And who knows? Maybe in another 23 years, Chipotle will do a $50 voucher for real!
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