Whatsapp users are being warned to beware of a chain letter doing the rounds which purports to come from airline KLM.
The message states that the receiver has won two KLM tickets, if they sent the message on to 15 friends. But in reality, the letter is a way of gathering information about users which is being sold on to dozens of companies for direct mail, broadcaster RTL Nieuws said on Monday.
‘Just had two free tickets from KLM, I can’t believe it lol,’ the message states. ‘See if you can get something too.’ The message includes a link which appears to come from KLM but in reality is a fake site.
After clicking on the link, the user is told they have won two tickets, if they send the message on to 15 friends.
To finally collect the prize, the user is then sent to another website where they are asked for their name, address, email and phone number. They also inadvertently give permission to be contacted by a number of companies, including Cashbackkorting.nl, the Plus supermarket group and IdayFly.
RTL said that people who have fallen for the trick should not worry that they have been hacked and that the scammers behind the mail are out to make money by selling the information they gather.
Victims can get off the lists by telling callers that they are not interested and requesting that their information be removed, RTL Nieuws said.
TV consumer show Radar first warned about the KLM scam last September and in January this year, there were reports that Ryanair in France was the subject of the same trick. And a similar scam based on free Emirates air tickets was circulating in Britain last year.