A new scam circulating on WhatsApp attracts victims using as a pretext a fake coupon for school supplies supposedly linked to Bolsa Famlia. According to PSafe's digital security lab dfndr lab, the links accompanying the message have been accessed by more than 1 million people since January 15, when they were first detected. The number is equivalent to an average of 70 thousand new users affected per day.
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In a statement, the Special Secretariat for Social Development said the information was false. The attack is aimed at beneficiaries of the social program and takes advantage of the period back to classes in 2020 to promise a voucher of R $ 350. "BOLSA ESCOLA 2020: Who has Bolsa Família the Federal Government is giving a bonus of up to R $ 350.00 to buy school supplies 2020. Check if you are entitled to the benefit ", says the message that circulates through the networks.
New scam circulating on WhatsApp aimed at beneficiaries of Bolsa Famlia Photo: Rubens Achilles / dnetc
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The Special Secretariat for Social Development issued a statement warning that the information was false. There is a Bill that provides a similar benefit, but it is still being processed, that is, it has not yet been approved. The official note also said that "on the page of the Ministry of Citizenship there is updated information on the Bolsa Família Program and on other social programs of the Federal Government".
The scam follows the pattern of other similar scams that usually spread through WhatsApp. The user receives a message that seeks to catch the user's attention by offering the alleged R $ 350 voucher for the purchase of materials and brings a link. Upon clicking, the person is taken to an external page where the attack is, in fact, carried out.
The victims are asked to answer a question with three questions, with the questions "Do you already have Bolsa Familia?", "Are you up to date with your registration?" and "Do you have a citizen card to withdraw the benefit?". Regardless of the answers given, the page says to confirm the existence of the supposed benefit, but, to release it, it requires that the person share the link with their contacts. This type of strategy is always carried out with the aim of proliferating the attack quickly.
Just like the fake job scams, Nike's birthday, Bauducco's panettone and fast-food chains like Burger King and McDonald's, the fake website displays a lot of forged comments from others who would have already achieved the benefit.
Subsequently, the user is led to allow the receipt of notifications from that website in the browser, a function that is often exploited later as a vector for attacks that may involve the theft of information and even victim's money. The benefit supposedly linked to Bolsa Famlia is never made available.
Scam on WhatsApp mentions fake benefit of R $ 350 from Bolsa Familia Photo: Reproduo / Psafe
It is important to always be suspicious of promotions and tempting benefits that arrive via WhatsApp chains. If in doubt, delete the message and disregard its content to protect yourself from possible blows.
In the case of alleged government programs, look for information released by recognized newspapers, magazines and news sites, as such initiatives tend to gain abundant coverage. It is also important to check directly on the website of the body responsible for the case of Bolsa Famlia, the Special Secretariat for Social Development (www.desenvolvimentosocial.gov.br).
It is also important to be extra careful with any link received in the messaging application. A good antivirus on your Android phone or iPhone (iOS) can block access to dangerous pages. Online link checkers can also help, such as that of PSafe itself (www.psafe/dfndr-lab).
Via Special Secretariat for Social Development
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