It’s a trap! Costco warns of $75 coupon scam

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SAN DIEGO -- Costco is not giving away $75, regardless of what a post on your Facebook feed might say.

That's the message from the bulk-retail giant, as shared on Facebook Tuesday:

"While we love our fans and our members, this offer is a SCAM," the company wrote. "Thanks to our fans for letting us know about this recurring hoax!"

According to Costco, the fake coupons are part of a common scam that circulates in November each year and purports to be a "celebration of the company's anniversary."

The scam encourages people to click on a link and follow a few simple steps to claim their $75, complete with an enticing, legitimate-looking coupon with Costco font and a barcode.

One version of the fraudulent giveaway encourages people to share the coupon on their page and to complete a quick survey, according to the fact-checking site Snopes. The site found that duped users were then led to a page where they forked up personal information, sometimes even including a credit card number.

On their website, Costco lays out the following tips for determining whether something is a real online offer or a hoax:

  • Unsolicited electronic communications from Costco do not ask for your personal information such as username, password, credit card information, birth date or Social Security number. Never provide personal information in response to an electronic communication.
  • If you receive an order confirmation for something you did not order from Costco.com, do not click on any links or open any attachments.
  • If you receive a communication that looks like it is from Costco, check to see who sent it. Be aware of typos and misspellings and, in particular, of return addresses and contact links that do not end with a plain “@costco.com.” When in doubt, don’t respond.
  • Be particularly cautious of pop-up solicitations, job-finding sites, and opportunities to win Costco Shop Cards.
  • Review the terms and conditions of any Costco-related app before downloading to ensure that the app is a genuine Costco app, created and supported by Costco.

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