Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Facebookers, Say Hello to the $1,000 Costco Giftcard Scam

Costco Gift CardSo far a whopping 11,600+ people have fell victim to the latest scam to hit Facebook (and counting!).

Thanks to the easy sharing capability offered by the popular social networking site, along with the trust users tend to attach to content shared by their friends, scams are capable of spreading like wildfire, exposing it’s victims to identity theft, additional scams, or even malware.

You can avoid becoming a statistic by not clicking any links in the following message should it pop-up in your News feed:

Get Costco Gift Card for FREE! (limited time only)
Costco is currently giving away $1000.00 gift cards to all facebook users!!

Costco $100 Giftcard Scam Landing PageFor if you did grow curious enough to click the link, you will be taken to a page that says you can get a  $100 Costco gift card if you post the offer to your profile and like it.

If the fact that it’s asking you to share this opportunity before you even get it doesn’t alarm you, then perhaps a red flag will fly up once you realize that the original offer was for a $1,000 gift card, not a $100 one.

I guess the scammer couldn’t really keep their lie straight. Shocker.

Should you decide to ignore your instincts to stop there, upon sharing the scam with your friends, you will be taken to an entirely different website ( asking you to enter your email address.

However, once you enter your email address, you’ll be taken to another page that asks for a host of personal information, including your full name, address, date of birth, mobile and home phone numbers. Suddenly it seems like you’re selling your identity for a Costco gift card.

Costco Gift Card Scam: Enter all of your detailsIf you were expecting the interrogation to stop there, you’re wrong. Right after you complete that intrusive questionnaire, you’ll be kicked right over to another 5-minute survey that will likely be followed by another and another… and another

See where this is headed?

Suffice it to say, you’re not really getting a FREE Costco gift card, if anything.

The terms and conditions of the site asking you to tell all states that you’ll have to complete a bunch of surveys and complete a total of 6 “reward offers” that usually involve you applying for a credit card (that you HAVE to make a purchase on or transfer a balance to) or signing up for a paid subscription service of some sort.

Of course, let’s not forget that scammers that collect mobile numbers have been known to sign the owner up for expensive SMS subscription services.

What should you do if you see the $100/$1,000 Costco gift card scam:

  • Do NOT click any of the links or give out your personal details.

  • Educate anyone that you see posting it to their Facebook walls that they are exposing their Facebook friends to a scam.

If you made the mistake of falling for this scam, you will want to be on high alert as the cybercriminals may send you more targeted scam campaigns to your home address or email, attempt to commit identity fraud, or sell your information to the highest bidder.

Be sure to follow us on Twitter at @hyphenet or “Like” us on Facebook to stay up-to-date on the latest Facebook scams.

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