That Costco $75 Coupon Is Fake

If you noticed a $75 Costco coupon floating around Facebook and thought, “That seems far-fetched,” your intuition was right: It’s a fake coupon.

The fake crops up on social media occasionally, with the most recent occurrence happening this week. The offending Facebook posts force viewers to click on a link to a website that’s not tied to Costco, then asks for a customer’s personal information in exchange for access to the bad coupon.

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“Despite several posts out there, Costco is NOT giving away $75 coupons,” the company said in a Facebook post on November 12. “While we love our fans and our members, this offer is a SCAM, and in no way affiliated with Costco. Thanks to our fans for letting us know about this recurring hoax!”

Costco also states in its policies that it only honors coupons that are distributed by Costco directly.

Costco isn’t the only retailer whose name gets used in this type of scam, wherein a fraudster picks a popular brand (often one that offers coupons infrequently, such as Aldi) and uses it to facilitate identity theft. In some versions of the scam, according to scam expert Steve Weisman, the scammer actually asks for your credit card number. The scams also tell you to share the coupon on your own social media feeds, “which make the phony coupons look more legitimate when they are received by your friends,” Weisman said on his blog, Scamicide. But at the end of the day, “The coupons are worthless and you get nothing but the opportunity to become a victim of identity theft.”

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Weisman offers a few tips on his blog for avoiding these scams. If you don’t see an expiration date on a coupon that’s floating around social media or that lands in your email inbox, it’s probably fake. And if you go to the retailer’s website and don’t see any similar offers, it’s probably fake.

If you spot a scam coupon, you can report it to the Federal Trade Commission through its complaint portal. If you get one by email, you can forward it to the FTC.

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As Costco fans mentioned in the comments of the company’s Facebook post, Costco doesn’t give anything away for free—except samples.