Free Costco Gift Card? Say No Thanks

In the whirl of the holiday season, it’s nice to feel a little good fortune come your way. When we find ourselves struggling to stretch our budgets even further, a free gift card couldn’t come at a better time. Thank you Costco for being so thoughtful. Now I can stock up on monster tubs of pickles and all the paper towels I can fit in my pantry. 

Yesterday I received double digit posts on my Facebook wall about a new Costco promotion: a free $100.00 gift card for all Facebook users. Lucky me. Or is it? Is Costco really giving out over 800 million free gift cards? Hmmm… That’s $80 billion in free gift cards. Probably not.

We’re all aware of Facebook scams. Sometimes it’s free airline tickets, sometimes it’s a free iPad, and now it seems it’s a free gift card to Costco. What were those wise words my mother repeated over and over again? Oh yeah, if it sounds too good to be true, it is. And this is no exception.

Facebook has been hit by scammers taking advantage of holiday hopefuls as they try to do more with less. It’s called holiday cybercrime. Following the instructions in the campaign, redirects you to a link that’s not Costco and asks you to “like” the page to share this message with your Facebook friends. This in turn spreads the scam and helps boost the message’s credibility with its trusted source.

During the Boxing Day sales week, this is just one of many gift card scams. If you stumble across an unbelievable offer, steer clear. Remember those wise words from your mother that will help keep your computer free of malware and put an end to the spread of these bogus Facebook scams.

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Samantha Shah

As a secret nerd, Samantha keeps close tabs on trends, threats, and headlines in IT security to keep you safe from the bad guys. She believes knowledge is power, so Samantha is always on the lookout for new ideas, tips, and best practices to challenge convention and inspire change.