The scammers are back at it again! This coupon is circulating on social media and we wanted to let everyone know that this is a scam.
The coupon in question is a $70 off any purchase of $80 or more from Kohl's. Now looking at this flying by in your news feed you may think it is legitimate. But, if you look closely you will see why it is not.
The first thing you want to look at is where is the coupon linking to. This coupon does not link to http://www.Kohls.com. This coupon links to http://www.kohlsfallpromos.site (We did not include the link as we do not recommend you click on it). Now you might think, it's possible that Kohl's may have purchased this domain, so we decided to dig a little deeper and look at the WHOIS.com record for each domain.
As you can see the actual Kohls.com website is registered to an actual Kohls location within the United States. The Kohlsfallpromos.site domain is registered to an unknown company (Protected by WHOIS Guard) located in Panama that is using a P.O. Box.
The next thing you should do if you ever suspect a coupon is a fake, just head over to that store's verified social pages. Kohl's has come out on Facebook and said that this is not a valid Kohl's offer. If you do not see something like this, then take a screen shot and send a message or post on that store's Facebook wall asking if it is a scam or not. More than likely they will respond to you and let you know.
With the holiday season coming up, just remember that scammers are constantly coming up with new ways to try and fool you. So, here are some tips from the Better Business Bureau to help you avoid scams:
- Always be wary of "too good to be true." If a deal is significantly better, a price lower, or an offer greater than you can find elsewhere, be cautious. Keep in mind that businesses need to turn a profit. If a company's offer is so amazing that it's not sustainable, it could be a ploy.
- Don't underestimate the power of a quick online search. An online search can go a long way in uncovering a con. Chances are that the scam has already fooled other people, and they have posted about it online. Be sure to check out BBB Scam Tracker for the latest (bbb.org/scamtracker).
- Pay with a credit card and refuse unusual forms of payment. Protect yourself by paying with a credit card, which gives you additional protections such as the opportunity to dispute charges if the business doesn't come through. Be wary of anyone who requests alternative forms of payment, such as wire transfers, pre-paid debit cards, or gift cards.
- Watch out for a change in routine. If an organization normally reaches you one way, be suspicious if you suddenly start receiving a different type of communication. For example, government agencies generally communicate through mail, but scammers impersonating them often call or send an email.
- Don't believe what you see. Con artists can spoof phone numbers, email templates, websites, letterhead, and social media accounts. Just because something looks real, doesn't mean it is. Instead of relying on your eyes, look for other warning signs.
For More Information
To find out more about scams or to report a scam, go to BBB Scam Tracker (bbb.org/scamtracker).
A little more in depth:
Here we will just talk about some other things we noticed. From here on out, this is try-at-your-own-risk. If you are unsure of a link, just close your window and move on. We do not encourage you to click on these types of links to look more into something that may seem like a scam. If you do click on a link, make sure you understand that when you land on that site, anything can happen. You could get some kind of malware, spyware or even a virus. So, use extreme caution and make sure your anti-virus, malware, spyware programs are updated.
That being said, we wanted to see what was behind this coupon, and here it is:
Once you land on this page, a box pops up congratulating you on winning a $70 coupon and asks you to hit OK or Cancel. It pretty much locks up your browser forcing you to make a decision in that box.
TIP: If you ever land on a website and a box pops up forcing you to make a decision like this and you are not comfortable with clicking OK or Cancel, then go into your task manager and kill the task.
Windows: Hit Cntrl-Alt-Delete and select Task Manager. Find the browser you are running, select it and hit the delete key. This will kill the browser totally. You will lose all of your tabs, but you will have avoided possibly infecting your computer.
Mac: Hit Command+Spacebar to bring up your spotlight search and type in Activity Monitor. Click on your browser and then click on the Quit Process on the top left of the window.
Once you get through it, you will see the image above. You will have to answer three questions. Once you are past the three questions, they will then ask you to share this site with your friends on Facebook. It then wants you to select 15 of your Facebook friends to send it to before you can click the button for your "unique coupon." I did not click on the coupon button as I did not want to give this site access to any of my Facebook information and/or my friends' information.
One other thing I like to do when I am questioning the validity of a website is to look at the source code. You can do this in Google Chrome or any other browser just by right-clicking and choosing view source. One thing that popped out at me immediately was the overuse of imgur.com as their main area to store images.
I would think that if this was a real website, that Kohl's would have hosted those images on their own servers and not some place where you can upload images for free. Just looking at the code can tell you a lot.
So, just remember, when you're on the Internet and it sounds too good to be true, it probably is.