Costco Wholesale Corporation warned its customer base to be wary of more than a dozen digital scams.
The American multinational corporation says most scammers make false offers while others impersonate Costco and exploit the coronavirus pandemic to con customers.
Costco published screenshots of 14 “prominent fraudulent emails, texts, and posts” to let its customers know what the scams in which cyber-criminals are impersonating Costco look like.
In most cases, scammers lured victims with financial benefits, promises of free products, financial reimbursements, exclusive offers, gift cards, and cash-back rewards. In other campaigns, scammers try to fish out from victims their personal information by asking them to take a short survey for which they will allegedly get a prize. Some victims received offers to get a Covid-19 stimulus package consisting of $130 of free merchandise for filling out a survey.
Another survey-based scam lures victims with offers of a free HDTV as “a thank you for always paying their bills on time,” they only need to answer a few questions about their shopping experience.
Other social engineering scams targeted Americans seeking employment. In this campaign, targets were told that Costco was “currently taking interviews for positions in [their] area that pay up to $21.00 per hour.” The targets only needed to share their personal details, and they would get confirmation for a job interview.
To put pressure on victims, fraudulent phishing emails urging language, limited-time offers, and claims of exclusivity.
One such scam email read:
“Congratulations! You have been specially selected to participate in our exclusive giveaway. Click here for a chance to win one of the exclusive prizes from our sponsors. Good luck!”
Victims received scams in their inboxes, postal mailboxes, on social media, and via text messages.
One age-old scam told a victim that they won a prize and asked to pay a $3,860 processing fee in order to receive their first payment of $6,994,92.
“These offers are not from Costco Wholesale,” warned Costco. “You should not visit any links provided in messages such as these, and you should not provide the sender any personal information.”