During the COVID-19 pandemic, more people are spending time online, which means more time on social media. In fact, Facebook shared that the platform's services had increased by 50% in countries ravaged by the virus.1
Spring and Summer are full of holidays and occasions that often provide us with a wide range of online sales and coupons, like Mother and Father's Day, graduations, weddings, Memorial Day, and more. Following the rise in social media and online use, The BBB sent out a warning 2 to be extra careful. Scammers are using social networks — especially Facebook — to offer counterfeit coupons that could lead to identity theft, malware, and other harmful consequences.
The most common fake coupons distributed offer free merchandise in return for sharing links on social media, disguised as well-known companies: Bath & Body Works, Costco, Aldis, Starbucks, and Trader Joe's.
What harm can sharing a coupon do?
The links will mostly take the customers to a third-party website that has one goal - stealing information. Not only will the customer never receive a coupon, but they will end up with malware on their device too, and their information could end up in the wrong hands or on the dark web.