Costco customers sometimes face scammers posing as the retailer

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If you are a Costco fan, watch out. Some scammers try to pose as the retailer.

Consumers could potentially encounter a scam falsely claiming to be Costco or affiliated with the company, attempting to obtain personal information, money or both. There are more than 20  the wholesale retailer is aware of at the moment, according to Costco’s website.

The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) has noted scammers portraying themselves as a company or organization they have no connection to is a common tactic.

“It is an unfortunate fact of the Internet that at any given time there are numerous illegitimate pop-up ads, surveys, websites, emails, social media posts and advertisements that purport to be from or authorized by Costco,” Costco’s customer service website stated.

Some email scams may allege a “giveaway” is taking place, an item is sitting unpurchased in a customer’s online shopping cart, a reward is available in exchange for doing a survey or a TV has been won, according to examples published by Costco.

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The retailer said on its website that consumers should scrutinize the sender to see if it came from a “Costco.com domain” and avoid interacting with any links. Other signs of a scam may include typos, repetitive language and fake addresses, among other things.

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COST COSTCO WHOLESALE CORP. 694.97 +7.66 +1.11%

Costco said it never asks customers to provide their credit card information, social security number, login credentials or other personal information in an unsolicited digital message. Nor should they give it out over email.

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The retailer has flagged scam text messages or phone calls that ask recipients to participate in a survey in exchange for a gift card or other “reward” with an enticing monetary value. The fraudulent text messages may contain links. 

Costco Wholesale Corporation

Some other common scams include fake job interview confirmation messages, overcharge reimbursement notifications and inauthentic membership expiration emails, according to Costco’s website.

Costco’s customer service website also said to “be cautious of any solicitation requesting that you deposit a check or pay a fee to collect a prize, get a job, or cover vaguely described ‘costs.’”

Costco

The retailer, which reported 129.5 million cardholders at the end of November, isn’t the only company that bad actors have pretended to be as part of scams.

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In November, Amazon took legal action against several entities in connection to a Prime Video scam. Some streaming services have also seen bad actors feature their branding in deceitful emails.

Business impostor scams accounted for U.S. consumers losing $660 million in 2022, according to the FTC. 

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