Beware of All Those Mother's Day Coupons Popping up in Your Social Media Feeds
Personal information you may unsuspectingly provide can be used by a scammer to commit identity theft and/or target you for email phishing scams
With Mother's Day right around the corner, consumers should be on alert for a surge in Mother's Day coupon offers showing up across numerous social media channels, including Facebook and Twitter. Many of these "coupons" are actually scams.
Don't Be Fooled
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, Target, and Lowe's Home Improvement.
These supposed coupons may never even arrive and are fake and worthless if they do, but the personal information you provide when filling out the online 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.
Tips for Protecting Your Information
To protect yourself from these and other scams, North Carolina Attorney General Josh 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.
Report All Suspected Scams
If you are contacted by someone you suspect is a scammer, hang up immediately and report the scam attempt to the North Carolina Attorney General's Office.