There's a sucker born every minute, but you never think that sucker is going to be you. However, when scams looks so genuine and so legitimate it's difficult to not be taken in by them.

The latest scam to hit New Jersey is a biggie, and much to the chagrin of retailer Bed, Bath & Beyond, many New Jerseyans have been duped by it. It's rampant on Facebook and clever.

It involves a Facebook posting that looks EXACTLY like the ubiquitous bed bath and beyond coupons that everyone knows and loves. Except that instead of the usual 20% off, or 5$ off, This one is an amazing offer: An almost irresistible $75 off purchases. Who wouldn't want $75 to spend at Bed, Bath & Beyond.

It seems so simple to procure that cash, too, because all you have to do in exchange is either take a survey or pass the post onto a friend. You forward this coupon to your friends thus increasing the amount of victims the scammers have in their net. When you bite, you'll be directed to a page that looks much like a legitimate Bed, Bath & Beyond website where you'll presumably enter all kinds of personal information.

If you're caught in this trap, the best case scenario is that you have simply given permission for all kinds of fake reward offers and junk email--the usual phishing/farming scheme. But in the worst case, you're now a target for identity thieves.

We've all been warned pretty much since the inception of the Internet that companies never ask you for personal information like credit card and social security numbers in this manner, but this one looks so incredibly legitimate that even seasoned web users could possibly fall victim to it!

Now, like Kroger, Home Depot, Costco and Amazon before it, the latest retailer to be targeted, Bed, Bath & Beyond, is forced to pick up the pieces of the scam by monitoring Facebook and answering the thousands of posts from people who were duped.

Not only that, but in almost every post they have to repeatedly disassociate themselves from this ruse. It's a mess and one that continues to happen. To them and to us.

So don't let yourself be fooled and follow the advice of the Better Business Bureau when it comes to offers like these:

  • Always check return addresses and domain names on any offers you receive on email or social media. Some are so ridiculous that it's easy to spot a fake.
  • Never give sensitive information to customer surveys. Legitimate businesses do not ask for these
  • If you ever do answer a survey and give either your personal address or email always check to see that there's a link to their privacy policy. If not, it's probably a scam.
  • And lastly, the old adage is always true: if it looks too good to be true it probably is.

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Dennis & Judi are on the air weekdays from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Tweet them at @DennisandJudi or @NJ1015.

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