FBI warns of Costco coronavirus stimulus check scam

Scammers are sending fake text messages offering 'stimulus check' deals from the big-box store

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The FBI is warning people against text message scams that look like stimulus check-related offers, including those purporting to be sent from Costco, in the wake of the new coronavirus outbreak.

“$110 goodies from Costco! That’s our stimulus package for Costco loyal customers,” states an example of one of the scams, which then prompts the recipient to click a link and complete a survey.

The FBI’s San Diego office posted the example on Twitter with a warning that the message is not as innocuous as it might look.

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“The #FBI warns of fraud scheme messaging the promise of money, i.e., “stimulus check” from retailer, Costco, and provides a link, containing malware, ransomware or other fraudulent methods to steal identity, financial or other personal information,” the tweet states.

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COSTCOSTCO WHOLESALE CORPORATION391.77+3.38+0.87%

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Tuesday’s social media post also includes the link to a press release from March 20, about the rise in COVID-19-related cybercrimes. Other types of scams include those involving people selling bogus N95 respirator masks, gloves and goggles, as well as emails purportedly sent from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Shoppers wear masks as they exit a Costco warehouse Saturday, March 14, 2020, in Santa Clarita, Calif. (AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez)

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“Scammers are leveraging the COVID-19 pandemic to steal your money, your personal information, or both,” the press release states. “Don’t let them.”

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