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kohls-coupon-facebook-scam-1Digital coupons often pop-up on Facebook. Usually utilizing big chains stores, consumers are lured with a coupon offering amazing deals such as 50 percent off everything, or $100 off any purchase. But shoppers must be wary because these coupons are usually scams aimed at collecting personal information for identity theft. In some instances, malicious software may even be downloaded onto your computer when you click on a link.

When consumers click on the coupon they are directed to take a survey that includes a section which asks for personal information in order to claim the coupon.

In honor of Mother’s Day, there has been a post circulating Facebook news feeds that allegedly offers $50 off your next purchase from Lowe’s. Last year, a $75 dollar off coupon for Stop & Shop also made its way around Facebook. Both companies confirmed the coupons were fake and warned their customers the coupon couldn’t be redeemed.

Tips for consumers:

  • Look at who is offering the coupon. If coupons are posted to a store’s official and verified Facebook page, then it’s most likely the real deal. Verified pages have a blue checkmark next to their name. If it was posted by a third party, be cautious.
  • Do not open links until you can confirm their authenticity. Call the store and check to see if you can validate the coupon.
  • If you come across a coupon that you feel is suspicious, report the fraudulent coupon to Facebook and the company. They will likely want to post about the scam to warn other shoppers.
  • Limit what personal information you provide! If a store asks you to fill out a survey, it usually pertains to your shopping experience and minimal person information is needed.

If you have additional questions, contact the Office of Consumer Affairs and Business Regulation by calling our Consumer Hotline at (617) 973-8787, or toll-free in MA at (888) 283-3757, Monday through Friday, from 9 am-4:30 pm. Follow the Office on Facebook and Twitter, @Mass_Consumer. The Baker-Polito Administration’s Office of Consumer Affairs and Business Regulation along with its five agencies work together to achieve two goals: to protect and empower consumers through advocacy and education, and to ensure a fair playing field for all Massachusetts businesses. The Office also oversees the state’s Lemon Laws, data breach reporting, Home Improvement Contractor Programs and the state’s Do Not Call Registry.

 

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