TROY, N.Y. (NEWS10) - Scams always seem to creep up on emotionally driven holidays like Mother's Day. You're in desperate search of a last minute gift for mom, and the scam artists see an opportunity to take advantage of you by infiltrating your social media feeds.
The logo, the bar code, and even the lettering looks legitimate.
"Looks great! I wish we could have used it we were just in there," Marci, of Glenmont, said.
Not so fast, some of those coupons shared readily on social media are frauds and local shoppers are being fooled.
Lowe's and Bed Bath Beyond are just two companies reporting the fake Mother's Day offers which are spreading on social media.
The coupon links reportedly take Facebook users to fake websites that have an uncanny resemblance to the real thing. Visitors are instructed to answer a series of surveys and, that's when experts say scammers go in for the steal and take your information.
"It may be as bad as getting their banking information to be able to commit crimes or they might just want to know what types of things they buy and what they're interested in and they can sell that data to third parties for pretty good money," Mike Stamas, of Grey Castle Security, said.
Stamas is a chief business development officer with Grey Castle Security in Troy. He specializes in cyber-attacks. He says scammers use holidays like Mother's Day to tug on our heart strings.
"Scammers are smart they know that there are times when our vulnerabilities may be down or we may be under the gun to get that last minute gift."
Bed Bath and Beyond apologized for the inconvenience on their Facebook Page, saying they're working with Facebook to resolve the problem.
In the meantime, there are some things you can do to protect yourself when shopping for mom.
"If a Facebook ad pops up on Facebook that seems a little too good to be true you need to look at that with a suspicious eye and look at the fine print."
Stamas says even the most realistic looking coupons will have fine print at the bottom. Read that carefully as it will often give you clues that the offer is fake.
He also says real offers won't make you provide banking or personal information.
It's easy to be fooled. Grey Castle says the safest way to get coupons is ultimately always at your store of choice.
Copyright 2019 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.
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