€1,000 Decathlon competition scam targets facebook users in France

Scammers are attempting to lure people into divulging bank details by using the sports brand’s image

A woman sits at the computer with a credit card considering a possible scam
Scammers are attempting to lure social media into giving up their bank details by circulating a fake Decathlon competition

A scam using the French sports brand Decathlon’s image is circulating on Facebook messenger, the French consumer group UFC-Que Choisir warned yesterday (September 24).

Scammers, posing as the sports brand, have set up a fake competition offering Facebook users the chance to win a gift card worth €1,000, with the pretence of celebrating half a century of Decathlon (the brand is actually only 45 years old!).

To “win” the prize, people must give details about their identity, their address and bank details. They must also share the fake competition with 20 of their friends or five groups of friends.

UFC-Que Choisir have warned that this is a phishing scam.

Decathlon has noticed an increase in this type of scam since the beginning of the pandemic.

"These are attempted scams that are totally external to Decathlon, which we cannot anticipate. As soon as we detect [a scam], we act as quickly as possible to make it inaccessible," the brand told UFC-Que Choisir.

The brand had already alerted its followers on social networks at the beginning of August of a different scam that asked people to take a survey to win a competition, and then demanded personal information and bank details.

In another recent phishing attack, scammers posing as French police attempted to get people to send them their Covid health passes to steal the personal information listed on it.

Phishing is very common on the internet, in emails, via text messages or on social networks and involves scammers pretending to be reputable companies or organisations to bait people to give out their personal details, passwords or bank details.

Common ways to identify such scams are if the offer seems too good to be true, if there are spelling errors in the messages, or if they come from dubious email addresses or websites.

It is highly unlikely that a legitimate company will ever ask for a person’s bank details or private passwords over email, text or through social media messaging services.

If you receive an email or message via social media that you suspect is a phishing attack, avoid clicking on any links and report the message as spam.

If you have been the victim of an online scam, you can report it through the French government platforms Cybermalveillance.gouv.fr or Pharos.

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