Personal information you may unsuspectingly provide can be used by a scammer to commit identity theft and/or target you for email phishing scams in the future

Fake Bed, Bath & Beyond coupon from Facebook
Image: Bed, Bath & Beyond
May 09, 2017

North Carolina Attorney General Josh Stein is warning consumers to be wary of a surge in Mother's Day coupon offers showing up across numerous social media channels—including Facebook and Twitter. Many of these "coupons" are scams.

Scammers will try to piggyback onto anything that might turn your money into their money. Unfortunately, Mother's Day is no exception. In this case, people are asked to fill out a survey to get coupons for large discounts from major retail chains like Bed, Bath & Beyond and Lowe's Home Improvement.

The coupons may never arrive and are worthless anyway, but the personal information you provide when filling out the survey is valuable to the crooks. They can use it to commit identity theft and/or target you for email phishing scams in the future.

To protect yourself from these and other scams, Attorney General Stein offers the following tips:

  • Be on the lookout for emails that ask you to confirm your personal information or account number, or to transfer money. 
  • Don't click on anything in an email unless you were expecting to receive the message and you are absolutely certain that it is safe—even if it appears to come from a trusted source like your bank or a friend. Verify with the friend or bank that they sent you an email first.
  • Don't call a number listed in the email.
  • When you see a large discount coupon, be skeptical and verify its legitimacy with the company before you do anything.
  • MOST IMPORTANTLY, remember that if something seems too good to be true (like for instance, receiving a large discount just for filling out a survey), it probably is.

If you spot a scam or believe you are victim to one, file a complaint with the Attorney General's Office online or call (877) 5-NO-SCAM.