Hey, guess what? It’s time for our first grocery-store scam of the year. Crooks have come up with a new twist on the fake store website/fake coupon/fake contest game. Let’s check it on out. According to the post, there was a winner for a $500 voucher who was too young to claim the prize. All you need to do is share the post and click on the link to be entered in the contest to win the prize. And you must do so by the end of the day. So what’s wrong with this picture?

kroger-scam.jpg

A whole lot of things. Number one, as someone who has participated in the administration of many legitimate contests, I can tell you that no legitimate company would ever put the name of someone under the age of 18 out there or announce the name of someone who couldn’t claim the prize. This is just a trick to make FB users think they urgently need to enter the contest. If the first name you draw can’t accept the prize, you just draw another name from the people who’ve already entered.

Notice this post isn’t from the Kroger chain, but from a site called Kroger USA Club. Let’s check out that FB page. Okay, eagle-eyed Tech Tips fans, what’s wrong with this picture? To start with, the only image this page has ever shared is the same one about old Sarah Phillips not collecting the prize.

fake-kroger-page.jpg

This page only has 9,000 fans.

fake-kroger-fan.jpg

The actual Kroger page has more than 1 million. It also sports a blue checkmark to verify that it is the actual Kroger site. A real blue checkmark is always directly next to the page name, right in the position you see below.

kroger-blue-checkmark.jpg

If you click on the provided link, you’re asked to take what looks like a survey. Do not take it. Clicking on the answer buttons could authorize who-knows-what to download onto your PC or phone. It could be malware, spyware, or even ransomware.

kroger-fake-survey.jpg

Contests are run in a very particular fashion, especially by big companies. There are a whole lot of state and federal regulations to follow. Nothing that looks like this is ever the real thing. If you share this ‘just in case it’s real,” you are exposing your friends to malware.