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Facebook Survey Scam - Get a Costco Gift Card for Free

Outline
Message appearing on Facebook claims that users can get free Costco Gift Cards just by following a link.



Analysis
The message is not an official Costco promotion. The message is a typical survey scam. Users who fall for the ruse and follow the link will first be tricked into spamming the same fake promotion to their friends by "liking" or "sharing" the bogus Costco promotions page. Next, they will be told they must complete a survey or offer before receiving their free gift card. Some of the "survey" pages ask users to provide personal information including name, address and contact details, ostensibly to allow them to go in the draw for a prize. Others invite them to download dubious toolbars, games or software. Still others will claim that users must provide their mobile phone number - thereby subscribing to absurdly expensive text messaging services - in order to get the results of a survey or go in the running for a prize.

No matter how many offers or surveys they complete, or what services they subscribe to, victims will never receive their promised gift cards.

The scammers who create these bogus promotions will earn commissions via suspect affiliate marketing schemes each and every time a victim completes an offer or participates in a survey. Victims may also be faced with large phone bills for unwanted mobile phone services and, because they have provided name and contact details, they may be inundated with unwanted promotional emails, phone calls and junk mail.

Costco has denied any involvement with this fraudulent promotion, noting on its Facebook Page:
There are numerous posts circulating on Facebook stating that we are giving away $100 to $1,000 Costco Cash Cards to all Facebook users. Costco is not giving away Costco Cash Cards to Facebook users, and is not associated with this program. Thanks to our fans for letting us know.


Example
Get a Costco Gift Card for FREE! (limited time only) bit.ly Costco is currently giving away $1,000.00 gift cards to all facebook users!! http://bit.ly/sje8TP Costco Survey Scam


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Last updated: 12th December 2011
First published: 12th December 201
Article written by Brett M. Christensen
About Brett Christensen and Hoax-Slayer

References
Costco Facebook