Peninsula Beverage Company (PenBev), local bottler of The Coca-Cola Company’s products in the Western Cape, are warning that Coca-Cola South Africa’s name is being incorporated fraudulently in a number of phishing scams and are urging the public not to get caught.
SMS or e-mail messages from individuals claiming to be from Coca-Cola are being sent, notifying the recipient that they have won money in lotteries and requesting they supply personal information in order to claim.
Spokesperson for PenBev, Denise Green has confirmed that “The Coca-Cola Company’s different brands and trademarks are being used without permission. The Coca-Cola Company is in no way associated with any SMSes or e-mails requesting sensitive information in order to redeem a prize. The Coca-Cola Company will never ask for confidential information such as an identification number or bank account details. We urge the public not to give out any personal details.”
Phishing fraudsters attempt to develop relationships with victims to obtain personal and financial information. Common signs that a message may be part of an e-mail, SMS or phishing scam include the following:
- Improper or unauthorized use of company trademarks; e.g. “World Coca-Cola Award Winner”, “The Coca-Cola Company Official Prize Notification”, “The Coca-Cola Mobile Draw,” “2013 Coca-Cola Promotion” or other similar titles;
- Spelling and grammatical errors in the email;
- Sender’s use of free, non-corporate email accounts (such as Yahoo!, Gmail, AOL and Hotmail);
- Requests for personal information such as identification numbers or bank account numbers;
- Promise of quick financial gain if such personal data is provided;
- Official appearance including letterhead from a financial institution or the Company; and
- Photos of Company executives, secret pin codes or reference ticket number with contact information for a Coca-Cola representative.