According to a post that is being shared on Facebook, Costco is giving all Facebook users a gift voucher valued at $41.
Supposedly, Costco has launched this “limited time offer” as a means of celebrating its anniversary. The post features an image that depicts one of the $41 vouchers.
However, the post is fraudulent. It has no connection to Costco and people who participate will not receive the promised coupon. The message is a typical Facebook giveaway scam designed to trick you into promoting the fraudulent post and divulging your personal information on suspect websites.
Clicking the post takes you to a website that asks you to complete a survey about shopping at Costco. The site will then pretend to check your answers and select you as a winner of the voucher. In reality, all visitors are chosen as “winners” regardless of the survey answers they provide.
The fake page then instructs you to click a Facebook “share” button, click “like”, and then add the comment “Thanks for my voucher”. Liking, sharing, and commenting further promotes the scam, which will gather more and more victims as it travels. And, because you endorsed the post by liking, sharing, and commenting, at least some of your family and friends may also fall for the ruse and participate.
After you have liked, shared, and commented, the page will “verify” your entry and instruct you to click a link to complete the voucher claim process.
The link opens a dodgy website that asks you to provide your name, email address, home address, and phone numbers for a chance to win further prizes.
However, the site will give all of the information you provide to unscrupulous marketing companies who will then inundate you with annoying phone calls, emails, text messages, and letters offering a range of dubious products and services.
The scammers operating the fake giveaway are paid a commission each time somebody provides details on one of the linked websites.
Giveaway scams like this are widespread and new versions appear on Facebook every day. The scammers repeatedly use the names of many well-known companies around the world.
If one of these fake giveaway posts comes your way, don’t be tempted to participate. You have no chance whatsoever of getting the promised giveaway, and you will be aiding and abetting online crooks.