This is a text scam which is apparently in circulation at the moment and the prize is an iPhone XS or sometimes an iPhone XS Max. That makes it something of a classic scam, because iPhones frequently feature in fake prize promotions of all sorts (the scammers don’t seem to be using the iPhone 11 as a lure yet, but it’s surely only a matter of time).
How this scam works is, out of the blue, you receive a text, purportedly from Tesco, telling you you’ve won an iPhone. There is a link to click, but whatever you do, don’t click on it. If you do, the scammers impersonating Tesco will ask for your bank details, using the pretext that you need to pay a delivery charge to claim your prize.
The so-called delivery charge won’t be much. In fact, it will probably be as little as a couple of quid, because that’s the sort of sum you would probably be prepared to risk losing in order to gain an iPhone – on some level you might suspect it’s a scam, but that iPhone is attractive and so the risk is quite tempting.
Needless to say, you will lose that delivery charge and you won’t get an iPhone, but much more seriously, this is a ruse so that the scammers can get hold of your bank details and once they have those your financial security is compromised.
This scam can sometimes be structured slightly differently, because instead of a text from Tesco saying you’ve already won an iPhone, there is a variant which starts off with a few market research-type questions before the scammers, posing as Tesco, say they will reward you with a free iPhone if you pay a £2 registration fee. Either way, it’s a scam, so be beware!
Tesco has confirmed these texts are scams and if you’re a target it recommends you screenshot the message and send it to firstname.lastname@example.org. Delete the message once you’ve done this and, again, whatever you do, don’t click on the link.
I’ve said this before, but remember that a supermarket won’t contact you at random by text, particularly if you haven’t entered a prize promotion to win an iPhone in the first place. If you’re not sure whether an approach is a scam, you can always check online to see if there is a genuine promotion running or contact the relevant supermarket’s customer services department to check.
Sarah Burns is Prizeology’s Chief Prizeologist and a National Trading Standards Scams Team Scambassador.