Just Because It's Trending Doesn't Mean It's True
Hoax Alert

Fake News: Kohl's Is NOT Giving Away $100 Coupons For Sharing A Link

  • by: Maarten Schenk
  • (Mon, 18 Nov 2019 21:46:58 Z)

Did supermarket chain Kohl's announce they are giving away $100 coupons to everyone who shares a link and fills out a survey, just because it is their anniversary? No, that's not true: a group of scammers is at it again with a fake Kohl's page designed to steal personal information and/or spam users with ads.

The scam appeared on a website (archived here) named promocouponed.info". It opened:

It's our anniversary!
Answer a few questions to get a FREE $100 KOHL'S coupon!
Remaining: Loading..

To get your voucher, you must first answer a few questions.
Question 1: Do you shop at KOHL'S?

Screenshot of http://www.promocouponed.info/?Anniversary-cSTNY

The site is part of a larger network of scam websites that all operate in the same manner. First three or four questions are asked, typically asking if you are satisified with some brand, if you have used their product or if you would recommend it to others. Three possible answers are offered each time, typically something very simple like "Yes", "No" or "Don't remember".

No matter what answers are given, visitors are redirected to a screen that looks like this, inviting them to share and like the page on Facebook to claim the prize:

dunkinfake.jpg

The comment form that appears at the bottom of some of the scams is also fake: comments are automatically appearing but they do not come from real people, the whole thing is scripted: if the page is reloaded the same comments start appearing again. Clicking the share button does bring up a real share popup from Facebook but it does not share the exact URL of the page: it varies the random-looking string of letters and numbers at the end so that to Facebook it will look like a new and different article that is being shared. This makes it harder to detect and do something about it because each individual link needs to be individually reported and taken down.

Clicking the like button takes people through a series of redirects via various pages, probably depending on which ads or scams the people behind the site need to promote at the time. But no prize will show up at your door in the end.

The scammers behind the site regularily launch new sites targeting different brands and businesses but they all look similar. arlier versions we spotted were aimed at Aldi, Dunkin' Donuts, JetBlue, Starbucks, Costco, Little Caesars, Alaska Airline and Delta Airlines.

About the author:

Maarten Schenk is our resident expert on fake news and hoax websites. He likes to go beyond just debunking trending fake news stories and is endlessly fascinated by the dazzling variety of psychological and technical tricks used by the people and networks who intentionally spread made-up things on the internet.  He can often be found at conferences and events about fake news, disinformation and fact checking when he is not in his office in Belgium monitoring and tracking the latest fake article to go viral.

Read more about or contact Maarten Schenk

About Lead Stories

Lead Stories uses the Trendolizer™ engine to detect the most trending stories from known fake news, satire and prank websites and tries to debunk them as fast as possible. Read more about how we work and how we select stories to check here.

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