VICTOR VALLEY: (VVNG.com)- Facebook users have been duped into clicking a post promising you will receive one of a limited amount of available free $500 Costco gift cards. The posts look real and as if a friend or other trusted person may have posted it to share the good news. The creator of this scam was likely betting on the financially struggling public to not be able to resist the urge to click the link because of the promise to receive the $500 card, that may help reduce their financial stress.
The link, which is not in any way endorsed by Costco, asks you to share with your friends, like their page and to incite fear that if you do not act immediately you will miss out there is a countdown of how many cards are left. As the Facebook user navigates through the instruction it leads them to a place to input information such as your name, email address, date of birth and phone numbers. Your email will then usually be sold to outside sources who will send you a large amount of spam email. After you input the information you will then be asked to complete surveys and commit to several “reward offers”, these offers are usually subscription services or other links that require credit card information in order to complete them.
The purpose of these scammers in offering you this gift card, which you will not receive, is for them to gain affiliate commissions by getting you to the survey and for cost service websites. There are different variations of the scam, these have been on other websites, including Craigslist and Backpage but with the social media boom these scammers are taking advantage of the power of social media.
The scam does not stop there, not only do they scam you into sharing the scam, but they also spam your provided email and these links which can result in the download of trojans and other viruses onto the computers of those following the links. So next time when you feel something may just be a little too good to be true, think about it and ask around. Make sure to always do your research and do not let them take advantage of your need and/or trusting nature.
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