Costco has updated its website to warn members of various scams that are specifically targeting past and present customers. Under a section called “Currently Known Scams,” Costco has listed numerous threats, which include the following:
Fraudulent Satisfaction Survey
Fraudulent Facebook Post
Texts Regarding Loyalty Reward
Overcharge Reimbursement Texts
Survey with Exclusive Offers
Fake Interview Confirmation
Fraudulent Executive Rewards Redemption
Citi Rewards Direct Deposit Scam
Redeem your gift card!
Supermarket Customer Sweepstakes Raffle Draw
The common thread with these scams is that they are correspondences that convincingly appear to be from Costco. In almost all cases, there are links where the social engineers behind the scam try to collect sensitive data from you. This can include names, addresses, banking data, and much more. Some of these scams are merely photos with links, whereas others claim to be from executives at Costco Wholesale. In their notice, Costco states the following about the scams:
Please see... examples of prominent fraudulent emails, texts, and posts that are currently circulating. These offers are not from Costco Wholesale. You should not visit any links provided in messages such as these, and you should not provide the sender any personal information.
Unfortunately, this notice is located in the Customer Service section of Costco’s website. What this means is that unless a customer specifically visits this section, they may never get the warning. Many scammers hoodwink the less-aware by banking on their ignorance. It would be prudent of the Costco organization to send out frequent warnings when new scams appear.
Social engineering is so effective because it is becoming easier for cybercriminals to make convincing correspondences that catch even the most tech-savvy off-guard. A general rule is that, as with anything in life, if it sounds too good to be true, it probably is. Be very suspicious whenever you receive an email claiming you’ve won something (or some variant of this claim). Finally, never give away your personal data to any link asking for it. Especially if it is a company you shop with that should already have that data.
Featured image: Flickr/JeepersMedia