Preventing Fraud: Internet Scams
Keeping our customer's personal information secure and confidential is one of Costco Wholesale's highest priorities. Below are some of the most common types of Internet scams and suggestions on how you can be aware and help protect yourself against identity theft.
FICTITIOUS JOB OFFER EMAILS
We recently became aware that someone has launched an email campaign advising individuals that Costco Wholesale is offering or may offer them a job. The emails can be quite authentic-looking. They contain a subject line such as "Provisional Job Offer," and purport to have been sent directly from one of our executives or from our human resources department. Enclosures, such as company information sheets and detailed questionnaires, may display the Costco Wholesale logo. The emails may include a request for payment of a processing fee of several hundred dollars and/or they may offer reimbursement for certain job-application or relocation expenses.
These emails are fraudulent. Costco Wholesale does not extend job offers via email to individuals with whom it has had no prior contact. We do not ask prospective employees to pay a fee to be considered for a position or to receive a job offer. We do not authorize recruiters or agents to do any of these things on our behalf. Although we sincerely regret that anyone may have been deceived by these fraudulent job offers, we will not honor them in any way.
You should not respond to any of these job offers by revealing personal information, nor should you send any funds in response to them. If you receive one of these fraudulent offers, please report the matter to the U.S. Secret Service.
PHISHING AND SPOOFING
This is when a criminal will send you a phony message or a website link that appears to be from a legitimate business. They will directly request that you provide personal financial information, such as:
- Name and address
- Social Security Numbers
- Credit card numbers / bank account numbers
- Pin numbers / passwords
Some advertisements "pop up" in a separate browser window advising that you have won a contest or request that you participate in a survey to collect a prize. They may then ask that you provide personal information in order to receive your gift. By clicking on the link it is possible that you are also downloading viruses designed to capture or destroy information on your computer.
A similar but low-tech scam circulates occasionally, in the form of a check, purportedly from Costco, and instructions to deposit it right away, usually in order to receive the balance of a larger sum you have "won" or that has otherwise come to you unexpectedly. You will be instructed to immediately send a payment, in the form of a second personal check, wire transfer, or similar, to some third party to cover taxes, processing fees, administrative costs, or some similarly vague expense. The check you received in the mail likely will look quite authentic, and probably has our Costco Wholesale trademark on it. Do not deposit the check or follow the instructions you receive with it.The check you deposit will bounce; the check you write or funds you wire will clear, before you know about the bounce, and certainly before you can effect stop payment on your own check.
WHAT CAN YOU DO?
- Never respond to emails that cannot be verified.
- Never provide personal information via e-mail.
- Contact the business by using legitimate phone numbers to verify the request.
- Enter websites using your browser and not by clicking on provided links.
- Be cautious of any solicitation requesting that you deposit a check or pay a fee to collect a prize, get a job, or cover vaguely described "costs."
- Consider filing a report with the Federal Trade Commission and/or state attorney general's consumer protection office, or the FBI. Online complaints may be filed with the FTC at https://www.ftccomplaintassistant.gov/, and white collar crimes may be report to the FBI at http://www.ic3.gov/complaint/default.aspx.
Please contact us to report any suspicious emails or contacts that are using the Costco Wholesale name.