Costco is an American multinational corporation which operates a chain of membership-only big-box retail stores and is the fifth largest retailer in the world.  Due to its popularity, it is not surprising that scammers have recently been using it as a basis for a number of scams.  This week on its website, Costco warned its customers to be aware of thirteen specific scams being perpetrated through emails, text messages and social media posts.  All of the scams involve scammers posing as Costco and offering a wide variety of free and exclusive offers.  Many of these scams require the targeted victim to take a survey in order to redeem their prize.  One of the scams offers $130 worth of prizes as part of what the scammer posing as Costco refers to as Costco’s COVID stimulus package for all loyal Costco members.

TIPS

Whenever you get an email, text message or social media post you can never be sure who is actually contacting you.  It is easy for such communications to carry an accurate copy of the company logo of the company that the scammer is posing as.  The key is B.S. – Be skeptical.  These scams can be quite dangerous.  By clicking on links you may unwittingly download dangerous malware that even your best security software cannot protect you from. Alternatively, some of these scams require you to provide personal information that will be used to make you a victim of identity theft.

The best course of action, if you have any thought that the offer may be legitimate is to go to the real website of the real company.  If there is such a program or survey being done by the company, you will find it there.  In the case of Costco, their website address is https://www.costco.com/

For those of you receiving the Scam of the day through an email, I just want to remind you that if you want to see the ever increasing list of Coronavirus scams go to the first page of the http://www.scamicide.com website and click on the tab at the top of the page that indicates “Coronavirus Scams.”  Scamicide was recently cited by the New York Times as one of three top sources for information about Coronavirus related scams.

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