'Tis the season for deals at all your favorite stores — just don't fall for fake offers.
A fake Kohl's coupon is making the rounds on Facebook, and if you aren't careful, you might just end up the victim of a scammer. The coupon promises consumers $100 off everything in the store in celebration of the retailer's 57th anniversary. But it's not real.
While it is the 57th anniversary of the department store as of September, there is no special coupon offer. This fake coupon mimics another variation of the scam that circulated on Facebook in 2016, according to Snopes.
Here's how the scam works, according to Snopes. These viral coupon scams often send a social media user to an illegitimate website or social media page made to look like it belongs to a well-known company or brand. Users who respond to the fake offer are often tasked with sharing the website link or social media post because the scammer wants more people to be see the offer and get lured in.
Next, you're likely to find yourself presented with a "survey" that will ask for personal information, such as email addresses, telephone numbers, birthdates or even credit card numbers. Then, in order to claim your "free" gift — in this case the Kohl's coupon — you'll have to sign up to purchase something costly, whether it's goods, services or subscriptions.
Don't want to fall victim to these types of scams?
The Better Business Bureau has the following tips.
- Don't believe what you see. It's easy to steal the colors, logos, and header of any other established organization. Scammers can also make links look like they lead to legitimate websites and emails appear to come from a different sender.
- When in doubt, do a quick web search. If the giveaway is a scam, this is likely to reveal an alert or bring you to the organization's real website, where they may have posted further information.
- Watch out for a reward that's too good to be true. Businesses typically give out small discounts to entice customers. If the offer seems too good to be true (a $100 voucher or 50% discount) it may be a scam.
- Look for a mismatched subject line and email body. Many of these scams have an email subject line promising one thing, but the content of the email is something completely different.