Sheng Siong urges shoppers not to believe scam message about winning a Huawei P30

PHOTO: Facebook / 何迎盛‎

If it’s too good to be true, it probably is. 

Sorry to burst your bubble, but that text message you received from “ShengSiong” about winning a Huawei P30 smartphone? It ain’t real, chief.

Yesterday, the National Crime Prevention Council sounded off an alert about a scam message that has been making rounds recently, sent by a “ShengSiong”. The real Sheng Siong supermarket chain, however, has nothing to do with the “August Draw” that the message recipient was said to have taken part in.

Imagine the further confusion if you're not a Sheng Siong shopper. 

Received this scam message 5 minutes ago 6.30 pm 29th August 2019 It is definitely a scam. I have never been to Sheng Siong for nearly 2 years. Take note - do not click as requested .

Posted by Eddie Ng on Thursday, August 29, 2019

The mechanics of the scam involve phishing, in which the not-so-savvy gets tricked into keying in their credit card details. Sheng Siong also stated that its mid-year lucky-draw season ended on Aug 3 and that its lucky draw winners would never be asked to fill in their personal information or credit card details via URL links. 

ScamAlert: Received an SMS from "ShengSiong" promising you a Huawei phone? This is a scam message. Do not click on the...

Posted by National Crime Prevention Council Singapore on Thursday, August 29, 2019

The message includes a link to a website that’ll congratulate visitors for being one of the lucky few selected to score a free Huawei P30. The digital scratch-and-win promotion will then — surprise, surprise — reveal that, yay, you won! To make it look legit, there’ll be (fake) comments made by other (fake) winners giving (fake) thanks for (fake) prizes. 

PHOTO: Facebook / Sheng Siong

After an option to pick the handset’s colour, the target will then get a confirmation message on getting it delivered — but first, one would need to key in billing information to “make sure the information is valid and it belong [sic] to a real person”. Weird that someone would ask winners for credit card details before even asking for an address to deliver to.

Keying in one’s credit card details would immediately incur a $122 monthly fee for a subscription of some kind of “unlimited online entertainment”. There’s an option to cancel the subscription, but since this is a scam, we highly doubt it works.

PHOTO: Facebook / Sheng Siong

Sheng Siong asserted that the whole thing is not at all endorsed by the company, urging people not to provide their credit card information in the website.

The Singapore Police Force have been ramping up efforts in educating the public about how to spot these fraudulent schemes, but seeing how online scams keep going on the up and up, it seems that folks just can’t stop falling for them. 

A (non-exhaustive) list of fakes

Unfortunately for Sheng Siong, cons involving the beloved supermarket are not that rare. The chain has kept a long, ever-updating list of scams made in their name since May 2018, including multiple fake Sheng Siong Facebook accounts and dozens of phishing attempts to get targets to reveal their personal data.

Dear friends please take note. Do not click on the link below. Sheng Siong media has explained clearly what will happen...

Posted by Damien Chan on Thursday, August 29, 2019

Everyone please make sure NOT TO CLICK ON THE SMS LINK. My parents received the SMS but luckily we help them check...

Posted by Derrick Loh on Thursday, August 29, 2019

Careful of scam using Sheng Siong name going around. Just received this. Remember, nothing is free!!

Posted by Patrick Chan on Thursday, August 29, 2019

Perhaps that’s not that surprising either. Regulars of the homegrown supermarket chain are typically in the older age range — the same people who might not be that internet-savvy in the first place. Plus, who wouldn’t want a free Huawei flagship phone that can still run Google apps?