Alleged Costco Facebook Promotion is a Scam
Don't be fooled by this tempting offer -- it's most likely a scam.
CREDIT: Sophos Security
Who can resist a Costco gift card? I mean, they sell cereal in bulk.
But if you see a Facebook ad claiming that you can "Get a Free $500 Costco Gift Card," you're going to have to be strong and resist.
There is no $500 Costco Gift Voucher. This is just a scam intended to get users to click through to potentially malicious websites.
Many companies use Facebook to promote their products. It's not uncommon for them to ask users to like their pages or share their posts in order to get a promotion.
But according to security research firm Sophos, a fake Costco promotion has been making the rounds on Facebook recently.
As far as scams go, this one isn't too malicious; if you follow all the steps the perfidious promotion asks of you, you'll end up at a survey website. Online surveys earn small amounts of money for the people who create them.
The scammers may also be trying to sell themselves as potential marketing affiliate partners, and are using the scams to rack up their website visit numbers.
By asking users to 'like' and 'share' their pages, the scammers are getting you to promote their scam for them. The idea is that if your friends see you've participated in the campaign they'll be more likely to check it out themselves.
Some Facebook scams can make it look like your friends have posted them in an effort to trick you into thinking they're legitimate. The trick with this one is that it might actually have been posted by your friends—so long as they were tricked into clicking it in the first place as well.
No malware has been discovered with relation to the Costco scams. But, of course, there's no way you're getting that $500 gift card.
According to Graham Cluley, a security expert at Sophos, Costco-themed scams have been prevalent on Facebook for a while. Always verify that any promotions you see on Facebook or any similar site are coming from the official company page instead of a look-alike.