Kohl’s $150 ‘Black Friday’ Coupon Scam

Kohl's department stores are not distributing $150 "Black Friday" coupons as part of an online promotion.

  • Published 17 August 2018
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Claim

Kohl's department stores are distributing free $150 coupons online as part of a "Black Friday" promotion.

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Origin

In November 2018, a scam tempting Facebook users with a free Kohl’s department store $150 “Black Friday” coupon began spreading on social media:

This fake offer was just another variation of a long-running form of scam with a familiar pattern.

First, scammers set up look-alike websites and social media pages that mimic those of legitimate companies in order to promote scams advertising free gift cards or coupons. Users who respond to those fake offers are required to share a website link or social media post in order to spread the scam more widely and lure in additional 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).

Kohl’s current coupon promotions, which are linked from their official Facebook page, are promo codes good for 20% or $10 off purchases of $50 or more.

The Better Business Bureau offers three tips to identify similar gift card/coupon 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.

Legitimate businesses do not ask for credit card numbers or banking information on customer surveys. If they do ask for personal information, like an address or email, be sure there’s a link to their privacy policy.

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.