CHARLESTON, WV (NEWS RELEASE) — West Virginia Attorney General Patrick Morrisey warned last-minute Mother’s Day shoppers not to be fooled by what appears to be a lucrative coupon appearing in social media feeds across the nation.
Retailers, including Lowe’s Home Improvement and Bed, Bath and Beyond, have recently urged consumers to be wary of online coupons that seem too good to be true. In particular, Lowe’s alerted consumers of a fraudulent, $50 coupon offer that specifically mentions Mother’s Day.
“Consumers must stay on constant guard,” Attorney General Morrisey said. “Con artists will use any social media platform or technology to steal your information. This means everyone must think twice and know that some social media posts are not as they appear.”
The Attorney General’s Consumer Protection Division has previously received word of similar coupon scams involving area grocery and retail stores.
The coupons typically represent a phishing scam aimed at stealing the consumer’s personally identifiable information. Those who click on the social media post are routed to a survey that asks questions with no legitimate coupon in return.
Anyone wondering about the validity of a coupon offer should consider these tips:
- Contact the retailer to verify any suspicious offer.
- Be cautious of any third-party offering the coupon on behalf of another company.
- Confirm that any offer appearing in a social media feed, also appears on the retailer’s official social media page.
- Watch for any website anomalies associated with the offer, such as anything pointing the consumer to a website not part of the retailer’s trusted website.
- Never freely share personally identifiable information, such as debit/credit card information and Social Security numbers.
- Be wary of any coupon offer that requires upfront payment.
- Read the fine print for details about expiration, limits on use, etc.
Anyone believing they have been the victim of a coupon scam should contact the Attorney General’s Consumer Protection Division at 1-800-368-8808, the Eastern Panhandle Consumer Protection Office in Martinsburg at 304-267-0239 or visit the office online at www.wvago.gov.