If you have received an email from Darty about a contest to win a Dyson vacuum cleaner, it is a phishing attempt. Do not click on the link, and do not give your bank details.
A message is displayed on our mailbox, entitled ” you have been selected to receive a FREE Dyson Vacuum “. In the body of the email, the logo of the chain of stores Darty is displayed in large, with this promise: ” Answer and win a brand new (sic) Dyson Vacuum “. The whole thing is accompanied by photos representing the latest vacuum cleaner models of the British brand, which are worth several hundred euros.
A little further down in the mail, we are informed that we have been selected for ” participate for FREE in the Loyalty Program “, And that this does not” will take a minute to receive a fantastic prize “.
Unfortunately for us, this isn’t really a great opportunity or a fluke – it’s a phishing attempt. And we clicked on it.
A phishing that promises to save us a vacuum cleaner
At the bottom of the email, a big red button appears, telling us to click in order to “start!” We click on it, eager to win a great Dyson vacuum cleaner. If, so far, the phishing has been relatively convincing – few spelling errors, body of the email using the Darty logo – this step is much less so.
We are redirected to a site in Darty’s colors, which also sports its logo. But the text which is then displayed in bulk gives a first clue of the counterfeit character of the page: the sentence contains enormous grammatical errors. ” Answer & win a new Dyson Vacuum », We can read, which does not really mean anything. However, when we got to the page, a stopwatch started, telling us that we would only have 6 minutes before us to try to win the vacuum cleaner.
The use of these stopwatches is very common in this kind of phishing attempt: they are there to force Internet users to act quickly and not to think. It is true that when seeing the stopwatch appear, some people might not pay attention to errors in the text, and click on ” Answer now To immediately go to the next step. This is what we do.
In the following steps, we stay on the same site, but a short questionnaire is displayed. We must indicate our gender, our age, if we live alone or with others, and finally if we regularly make purchases on the Internet. The answers do not matter: when we have come to the end of the questions, we are taught that our answers were ” successfully verified », And that we are lucky to be able to win one of the prizes. We click again on ” to start », In order to access the next stage of the competition.
The rest is a kind of “mini-game”, which is very often found in phishing campaigns: you have to click on the gift voucher in order to win the vacuum cleaner (or, depending on the versions of phishing, iPhone, bikes, etc.). We randomly click on one of them, and, bad luck, it’s not the right one. We randomly select another package again and this time, a miracle: we clicked on the correct one. Dyson vacuums are just a few clicks away, the site informs us. We just have to ” claim it “. Now, this is where the real scam begins.
Indeed, we quickly discover that, contrary to what we were promised at the beginning, we are not really going to have the vacuum cleaner for free. As can be seen in the photo above, reading the small lines, theoretically it is only two euros.
But by clicking on the “claim” button, we are again brought to a new page. She tells us this time that we have to pay 1.95 euros to be entitled to the Dyson. We must also fill out a form with our first and last names and email address, and above all, enter our bank details. And we are not at the end of our troubles: by taking a closer look at the small footers, we learn that this offer includes hidden costs.
This text informs us that in addition to the two euros of postage, and the 1.95 euros that we will have to pay to recover the vacuum cleaner, we will be registered for a mysterious subscription. The text brings more questions than it answers: it is about a subscription to a ” program […] partner “, And a sum which” varies depending on the choice “. Neither the amount of this sum nor the payment dates are specified, but it is obvious that this ” service Is just a scam, which it will certainly be very difficult to unsubscribe from.
A common phishing attempt
This phishing attempt, if it is relatively convincing with the first email sent, fortunately quickly becomes rather crude. Difficult to miss the inconsistencies of the texts (which often go from formal to formal), spelling errors, and costs that are added at each step. However, you must always be very careful: just because a phishing makes spelling mistakes does not mean that it immediately becomes harmless.
What is interesting to remember is that we very often find the same structure in phishings: an email containing the names and logos of a large recognized brand, which invites us to participate in a competition, or which tells us that we have won a prize. Then come the questionnaire and the little game at the end, before ending up on a page where we have to enter our bank details. If you ever come across another type of contest that uses the same steps and mechanics, you will be able to tell right away that you are facing a phishing attempt.
How to spot a phishing campaign?
The email we received was probably part of a larger phishing campaign. It is therefore possible that you or members of your family have received a similar message. If you receive a message from Darty in the next few days, take special care. This is not the only phishing that uses the logo and the name of household appliance stores: another email is circulating, suggesting a false order in the amount of 900 euros.
If you want to make sure the origin of an email that you find suspicious, you must start by verifying the address of the sender. In this case, the address is a good clue: it is ohjldnnehp[arobase]azweather[point]me[point]uk. Not only does this address make no logical sense (what does an English address do in an email supposedly sent by a French brand?), But it also doesn’t mean anything: there is no identifiable first name, and the presence the word weather (weather forecast in French) in the address only reinforces the confusion. But you should always be careful: some phishings use dangerously credible email addresses.
When we are offered something that sounds too good to be true (like winning a vacuum cleaner worth hundreds of dollars), often it is. It is therefore advisable to be wary as soon as we receive an email promising us wonders. It is also possible that your mailbox displays a warning message. Gmail displayed an alert message at the top of the email, warning us that it may have been a phishing attempt. If this is the case, it is better to follow the advice of your mailbox, and especially not to click on the links which are in this type of mail.
What if you opened the email?
- If you only opened the mail, but did not click on any link, you do not risk anything.
- If you only clicked on the link, you don’t have to worry either.
- If you have completed the registration form with your first and last names, and email address, be particularly wary of emails and calls that you will receive in the days to come: your email address may have ended up in a database. And even if you don’t receive anything suspicious in the next few days, it’s always best to be on your guard.
- If you have given your banking information, you must immediately block your bank card. If you notice a fraudulent transaction on the account, you can report it on Perceval, the public platform dedicated to reporting bank fraud.