BBB Warns of Free Coupon Scam on Social Media
Tuesday, August 28, 2018
“Yearly, billions of fake coupons are posted by online criminals trying to trick you. It works because the coupons look real and they offer great deals. By using brands’ official logos, it's nearly impossible to tell if it’s fake or not. Remember, if it seems too good to be true, it probably is,” said the Better Business Bureau.
According to the BBB, the scams are among the most common on social media.
Online coupon scams are usually set up like this:
- Share the deal with all your friends.
- “Like” the page associated with the fake deal.
- Fill out a survey with various questions and then enter your email so they can “send you your coupon.”
- When you click on the link to get the deal or discount, there's a chance you could be exposing yourself to identity theft or malware on your computer. When you shared that link, you exposed your friends and family too.
How can you avoid falling for online coupon scams?
- Follow these tips before clicking on any offer:
- Check the business’s official Facebook page and see if the same coupon appears
- Check the business’s website to see if they are offering the same deal
- Never pay money for a coupon
- Check for spelling errors
- Beware of sales on hot items with an expiration date. Scammers capitalize on that sense of urgency, trying to rush people so they don’t think about whether it’s a legitimate deal.
Red flags for coupon scams:
- It went to your junk folder
- The sender’s email address isn’t associated with the business
- When you hover over the coupon link, it doesn’t show the website for the business
- Ask yourself if you signed up to get email discounts from this business? It not, it's unlikely they’d send you a real discount out of the blue.
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