Be aware of fake Mother’s Day coupons circulating online

MIAMI (CBSMiami) — Time is running out to get a gift for mom. Just in time, there are coupons circulating online promising big discounts at several stores.  But it turns out the deals are too good to be true and they are just a scam looking for your personal information.

Some of the coupons popping up online offering big discounts include $75 off at Bed, Bath and Beyond, $50 at Lowe’s or a $50 deal at Home Depot.

The coupons look real, but they’re actually fakes.

“This is all a complete scam,” said Scott Schober, President and CEO of Berkeley Varitrons Systems. Schober, a cyber-security expert, says when you click on the link to redeem the coupon, you’re taken to a survey.

“The first question, ‘Have you ever been to Home Depot?’”

But after the innocent looking survey you’re hit with pop-ups asking for personal information like an email address, or a request to download a program.

Schober believes the program is malware created by cyber criminals to infect your computer.

“Once you have somebody’s full information their name their address and especially if they are willing to give up a birthday, uh credit card information you can do a ton of damage to somebody.”

The con artists also ask you to share the coupon on your Facebook page so the scam can continue to spread.

Companies targeted by the scam are warning customers on social media.

Clothing retailer Ross says “We’re working with Facebook to shut down the unauthorized offer and associated posts.”

Schober says one way to spot a scam is to look at the URL. Even though the site says Home it actually ends in .us which is a tell-tale sign.

And always question a great offer.

“If it sounds too good to be true it probably is too good to be true,” reminded Schober.

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