The holiday shopping season is a prime time for swindlers, hackers, and scam artists and this Hy-Vee coupon scam is a good reminder. This Hy-Vee coupon scam surfaced this month and has been reported by Snopes as being a scam. The Hy-Vee coupon scam involves a Facebook post in which you could get $80USD worth of groceries for free. The coupon claims this is celebrating Hy-Vee’s 75th anniversary.
Snopes says this scam has been seen before and is a variation on past scams attempted on social media. The scammers build look-alike websites and social media pages to lure users into believing they are legit. They promote free goods, coupons, and gift cards hoping to have users respond to the offers. Part of the requirement is for users to share on social media which then spreads the scam to others bringing in more potential victims.
Then those users are presented with a “survey” that extracts personal information such as email addresses, telephone numbers, dates of birth, and even sometimes credit card numbers. Finally, those who wish to claim their “free” gift cards or coupons eventually learn they must first sign up to purchase a number of costly goods, services, or subscriptions (negating the “free” aspect of the offer).
The Official Hy-Vee Facebook page has commented on this latest scam and is warning customers to steer clear.
Please beware of a scam that has surfaced on social media. The post includes a fake “$80 off groceries” coupon at Hy-Vee stores. This is a scam and our stores are not able to honor this. For the latest Hy-Vee deals, check out our weekly ad or monthly Mega ad, or download the Hy-Vee Deals app!
It’s important to always be aware of potential scams throughout the year but the holidays is when scammers really try to catch you. Most of the time people are trying to save as much as they can and can be easily taken. In this day of Photoshop and instant websites, most anyone can make these things up quickly and easily. As Snopes reported, the Better Business Bureau offers three tips to try and spot these types of scams.
- Don’t believe what you see. It’s easy to steal the colors, logos and header of an established organization. Scammers can also make links look like they lead to legitimate websites and emails appear to come from a different sender.
- Watch out for a reward that’s too good to be true. If the survey is real, you may be entered in a drawing to win a gift card or receive a small discount off your next purchase. Few businesses can afford to give away $50 gift cards for completing a few questions.