I spotted a Kroger coupon scam on Facebook this morning. So it seemed like a good time to take another look at our reoccurring friend the coupon scam and why you MUST NOT SHARE THEM.

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First, I am sure it’s a scam.  According to a spokesperson for the grocery chain, Kroger does not place surveys on Facebook or will you see one as a pop-up on your smartphone. Kroger coupons do not promise coupons for large amounts just for answering questions. The same holds true for these alleged coupons from Kohls and other retailers.

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There are sometimes legitimate surveys on your receipts from stores, but you’ll notice they don’t promise that you’ll win anything. Usually only that you might be eligible to win. Think about it. How in the world could any company give any customer that clicks on a link a $100 gift card or 75% off any purchase? They’d be bankrupt after a million people took the survey in a week.

And while many folks think, “What’s the harm in sharing?”, there can be a lot of harm in sharing. Click on that link or one like it and you’ll be directed to a site that likely contains adware or malware. So if you have 200 Facebook friends, you’ve potentially exposed 200 people to malware. What scammers love about social media scams is that you do all the work for them. They don’t have to call 200 homes,  their victims do the work.  Your first clue that this is a scam, other than that all posts like this are scams, is the web address. Why would Kroger have ‘brazil-life’ at the end of their web address?

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Let’s see what happens when you click on this one.  It looks like you’re taking a fairly simple survey.  The trick here is that by clicking on this button, you don’t know what you’re authorizing. Just because a scammer labels a button yes or know doesn’t mean it does what that label says. Clicking ‘Yes’ could be giving permission to install malware. Clicking on a button like this is a little like letting a stranger into your house. Note that they are using the apostrophe incorrectly on the end of coupons and a missing comma before so hurry up. A company as large as Kroger probably proofreads its surveys. Everybody makes mistakes, but it’s a clue.

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The second question also uses the wrong form of its for the answers. And the answers don’t seem as if they’d be of much use to Kroger.

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Scams like this usually do one (or all) of the following:

  • Download malware or spyware of some type onto your device.
  • Collect your personal information to target you.
  • Collect the names of contacts and target them for other scams.

After clicking on offers like this you may receive a private message offering some type of deal or targeting you to send someone money.  You might not fall for a scam like that, but it’s possible you could share this with a vulnerable person who would.

This certainly isn’t the only Kroger coupon scam out there, the company frequently warns customers about them on their genuine Facebook page. 

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So to recap things – you can bet that any coupon like this is a total scam. If you think it might be real, contact the company to check.  Sharing a post like this ‘just in case’ is a really bad idea. You’re exposing your friends to potential malware and the attention of scammers. Plus you’re also perpetuating a bad habit, sharing stuff just in case it happens to be true. Stop. It. Now.