In July 2019, an $80 coupon began making the rounds on Facebook for the ALDI grocery store chain. These shared posts were the latest iteration of the common “free coupon” or “free gift card” scams that frequently plague social media and have also preyed on shoppers of chains such as Kroger and Target:
A different scam coupon offer also circulated with the ALDI logo in December 2015, advertising a “get 40% off all purchases in store” promise. Another displayed what appeared to be a free coupon for “$60 off a minimum $70 purchase”, and even one for $75 off:
“Aldi has a coupon for $60 off a minimum $70 purchase. Aldi has verified this is a scam, but people are sharing it all over facebook.”
These coupons are not legitimate, as ALDI themselves noted on their Facebook page:
These coupon offers are a form of survey scams that direct victims to either a survey on an website not owned by ALDI, or what looks like a Facebook page for ALDI. The survey pages nor the Facebook page have any affiliation with the company, despite being adorned with the ALDI logo. Both instruct people to share the bogus ALDI coupon offer on their Facebook timelines and submit comments about it:
This page instructs shoppers to follow these “two simple steps” in order to get their coupons. Once the steps are completed, however, users are not greeted with information explaining how to claim their coupons. Instead, they’re asked to take a brief survey that entails providing personal information such as home address, telephone number, e-mail address, and date of birth, and are required to sign up for credit cards or enroll in number of subscription programs in order to obtain their “free” gift cards:
A version of the scam also surfaced in May 2016, and another later in 2018. ALDI responded to frustrated consumers on Facebook:
In June 2017, a version of the scam touting discounts in honor of ALDI’s purported anniversary also appeared on Facebook:
“HEY FRIENDS CHECK THIS OUT!!!!!
Aldi is giving Free $75 Coupon to Everyone to celebrate 103rd Anniversary!
Each Person (1)- Go & get yours!
However, attempting to visit the linked domain (ALDI-COM.com) led to a “deceptive site ahead” warning and not to ALDI’s official web site:
If you frequently use Facebook, there is a good chance that you’ll run into one of these survey scams again. A July 2014 article from the Better Business Bureau lists key factors for identifying fraudulent Facebook posts:
“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.
When in doubt, do a quick web search. If the survey is a scam, you may find alerts or complaints from other consumers. The organization’s real website may have further information.
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.”
All in all, trying to claim that “free” deep discount ALDI coupon is likely going to end up costing you a lot more than you’ll save.