In May 2015, a fraudulent offer for $100 Lowe’s coupons started circulating on Facebook. The message linked Facebook users to a fraudulent web site adorned with the Lowe’s logo, and instructed them to follow a simple set of instructions:
Scams like these require users to pass the fake coupon on to their Facebook friends. This widens the pool of potential victims. Next, they direct people to fill out a simple survey. While this seems like a harmless task, you’ll most likely be asked for sensitive information such as email addresses, telephone numbers, dates of birth and credit card numbers. Finally, users who complete the survey will never receive a free Lowe’s gift card. Instead, they will likely sign up for difficult-to-cancel “Reward Offers” or have their personal information used for nefarious purposes.
The Better Business Bureau gave these three tips to identify scams on Facebook:
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.
While the tips from the Better Business Bureau are certainly helpful, in the case of the $100 Lowe’s coupon there is no need to do any more investigation, as Lowe’s as already debunked this scam on their Facebook page:
Alas, being on the Internet means that everything old is new again. In April 2017, two years after we first debunked the initial coupon scam, a new version of it appeared, taking in unsuspecting Facebookers yet again:
If you click on this image on Facebook, it takes you to a page with a dubious URL (in this case, http://www.lowes.com-holdit.us/?sfpzbJt) and asks you to take a simple survey, then to “like” and “share” the page:
Needless to say, anyone who attempts to redeem their coupon at Lowe’s will be unsuccessful (and probably a little embarrassed), and if they have followed the instructions, have set themselves and their friends on social media up for, at best, a like-farming scam. A simple racket, certainly, but an effective one.