When Costco's CFO is told by his sister to ask about the viral Facebook post that the $ 75 coupon is real, you know this is a pretty good scam.
Richard Galanti takes a philosophical stance.  "They come and go at regular intervals," he says. "We all clicked on something and realized afterwards that we shouldn't have it."
The scam, which offers a $ 75 coupon in honor of Costco's 50th anniversary, has been around since at least 2018, according to fact-checking website Snopes.
All recipients must do is answer a few simple questions, such as "Do you like shopping?"
And for that you get $ 75? Wow.
The latest incarnation of the Costco coupon scam began to appear on Facebook a few days ago, and went viral the way people shared it.
Last Tuesday, the Issaquah-based company, with some 770 stores worldwide, told its 2.1[ads1] million followers on its Facebook page, "While we love our fans and members, this is the offer a scam, and in no way affiliated with Costco. "
But how could individuals who think of themselves as smart and relatively knowledgeable click on such a drawback?
Richard Ross, a Seattle lawyer, rolled through Facebook on his smartphone when he saw that the Costco coupon had been posted by "two people I generally trust."
So he started clicking and responding to the benign questions. "How old are you? Under 18 years. Over 18 years."
"It actually looked official" what about the Costco logo, he said.
He says of the scam, "There's a bit more about Facebook these days. If it blew my account, it would be OK."
At the nonprofit Identity Theft Resource Center in San Diego, which helps victims of identity fraud at no cost, there is sympathy that smart people will fall for the scam.  "People want to save money," said Charity Lacey, spokeswoman for the group. "The scam looks very much at the real thing. The scam artists appreciate existing brands have good loyalty and positive stance. "
Says the center's post about the Costco coupon," They can collect your email address and access the Friends list on social media to sell the information to spammers.
"They can also generate click-through advertising revenue by to get you answer on the screen after screen of questions questions. More malicious cases can actually install malicious software on your computer by first downloading a fake & # 39; coupon installer & # 39; to print the coupon. »
When the Costco coupon scam swims down, not to worry, there is always another one.
On Wednesday afternoon, Bud Light's Facebook page had to post this to its 8 million followers:
“We have been informed by some of our loyal fans that there is a FREE beer scam going around. Bud Light does NOT provide 24 free packages, this offer is in no way affiliated with Bud Light. Thanks again to all our fans who made this attention. "