Costco is not giving out $75 coupons to Facebook users to celebrate the company’s anniversary, the company warned.
The scam was spread on Facebook in November, purportedly offering $75 Costco coupons to users who clicked a link and followed the instructions provided.
The links lead to web pages that are not affiliated with Costco and displayed a “Bud Light” logo page with options to share the scam with acquaintances.
Users were further led into a survey page, asking for personal information including name, address, email address, date of birth, and phone numbers.
Finally, the link led to a page to sign up and commit to paying for “at least six reward offers” that required a credit card information or signing up for a paid subscription service.
Snopes warned that giving away personal information is not the only source of danger.
“All too often such adventures in clickjacking also result in the download of trojans and other viruses onto the computers of those looking to score the promised goodies,” the website reported.
Costo stated on their Facebook page: “There are numerous posts circulating on Facebook stating that we are giving away $100 to $1,000 Costco Cash Cards to all Facebook users. While we love our fans and members, Costco is not giving away Costco Cash Cards to Facebook users, and is not associated with this program.”
The company said that they were not aware of the scam until customers told them, reported ABC 10 News, but this is not the first time they have encountered such scams.
Fake coupons are a recurring problem for well-known retailers such as Starbucks, Taco Bell, McDonald’s, KFC, Wendy’s, Burger King, Whole Foods, Safeway, Food Lion, and Little Caesars, according to Snopes.
As part of a company anniversary or birthday celebration, scammers often offer “lifetime passes” or other free products through fake Facebook accounts.
The most common type of fraud is the “sweepstakes scam,” through various surveys that ask people to disclose personal information and then agree “to sign up for costly, difficult-to-cancel reward offers hidden in the fine print,” Snopes reported.
Snopes reported that similar scams are also used to spread malware. Facebook users attempting to claim free products are “victimized by a Facebook ‘life-jacking‘ attack, a malicious script that takes over a user’s Facebook profile without their knowledge and propagates itself to their friends’ accounts as well.”