You may know Costco as one of the largest retailers worldwide. While you can get excellent deals there, scammers are scattered all over the internet trying to promise you free products or coupons. These can be in the form of surveys, interviews, or phishing emails. In this article, we will help you learn more about these Costco scams, how they work, and how you can avoid each scam. Read on to guard yourself against these scammers!
Types of Costco Scams to Watch Out For
Costco Wholesale has reminded its shoppers to stay alert when receiving or seeing phishing text messages, emails, or posts online as they may be fake. The Costco Customer Service site has provided visual examples of these scams. One common tactic is through exclusive giveaways. The fraudulent message or ad will tell you that you’ve been chosen to participate in the company’s exclusive giveaways.
Then, it will ask you to click on a link to get a chance to win huge prizes. The post will even tell you to hurry as the giveaway will end in a few hours. Do not click on any of these links, and do not disclose any personal information because you will end up losing your money instead of getting some rewards.
Costco Scam Surveys
Costco scams also involve fake surveys. These can be satisfaction surveys, pretending to ask you for your opinion regarding the company’s service. Other surveys include exclusive offers. For instance, they will tell you to complete a 30-second survey to get a $50 gift card. Scammers may send these bogus surveys through email or post them on social media platforms.
If the message is from a personal email address, then it is most likely a scam. Make sure to hover over the link to see where the link actually goes. Also, Costco Customer Service has emphasized that this is just another form of scam, so do not fill out these surveys.
Scammers will also use posts or send email messages and tell you that the company is giving you a free Samsung 4k HDTV as a reward for settling your Costco bills on time. However, they will ask you to answer a few questions to get the “free” TV. Do not answer any of these questions, as these scammers will only gather your personal data to hack your account.
Costco Scam Facebook Posts
Another Costco scam involves fake Facebook posts. The scammer will pretend to be Costco’s CEO and even grab pictures from the company. Then, they will ask you to share and comment on the post to get a chance to get food boxes that will be delivered right to your doorstep. Do not share these kinds of posts, and report the page or account. Also, never share your personal information, especially your address, to avoid having your identity stolen or your bank account drained.
Costco Scam Interview
You may also receive a text or email informing you that Costco is accepting interviews for positions within your area, allowing you to earn at least $20 per hour. To be scheduled for an interview, you will have to enter your name. To avoid getting scammed, watch out for spelling or grammar errors. Also, stay suspicious if you receive these unsolicited interview confirmations. You can also check Costco’s website to confirm whether or not they’re actually hiring near you.
Other scammers will offer you a coronavirus stimulus package. They’ll say that you get this package worth over $100 for being a loyal Costo member. Then, they will include a link that will require you to complete a survey. Check for typographical and grammatical errors in these kinds of messages. Do not click on the links because they might contain some malware or ask you to disclose your financial information.
Fake Raffle Draw
Some scammers will also take extra effort to create a document informing you that you have won the supermarket’s sweepstakes raffle draw amounting to almost $500,000. They will explain that you’ve been chosen and registered for the raffle because you used debit or credit cards for payment.
Then, you will be asked to contact the manager to claim your prize. Scammers will even include a check for the first payment and help you settle the clearance fee. Do not fall into this trap; disregard the message. It may look like a legitimate document complete with signatures, but this is just another technique adopted by scammers.
Costco Scams Rewards Redemption
In these Costco scams, you will receive a message telling you that you can now redeem your 2% cash reward. It will explain that these rewards depend on your total purchase from the date of payment for your Costco membership to the current date. Then, you will be asked to click on a link to redeem the reward. As the Costco company itself warned its shoppers, do not click on these links. If you’ve fallen for these scams, report the incident to the Federal Trade Commission.
How to Avoid Costco Scams
- Avoid clicking on links through emails or text messages and go onto the official Costco website instead.
- Don’t send anyone money for any reason. Instead, only pay at the official Costco store or website.
- Avoid messages that state there is a giveaway hosted by Costco.
- Don’t accept the stimulus check if the letter claims to be from Costco.
- Don’t believe any message that claims you have won a free TV.
- Don’t participate in surveys or raffles claimed to be from Costco.
Fight Costco Scams With Social Catfish
As we have shown above, Costco has warned all shoppers not to click links from suspicious text messages, emails, and posts. These may just include fake giveaways, surveys, raffles, or rewards redemptions.
If you think you have encountered one of these scammers, find out their identity by completing a reverse search at Social Catfish.