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10 Latest Costco Scams You Didn’t Know About (Until Now)

Scammers use your trust of the Costco brand to trick you into giving up money, personal data, and passwords. Learn how to avoid the latest Costco scams.

Illustration of a fishing hook in the shape of the Costco logo to symbolize Costco scams

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      Can You Spot the Latest Costco Scams?

      With millions of shoppers and over $237 billion in sales in 2023 alone, Costco is one of the biggest retailers in the world — and a prime target for scammers and fraudsters. 

      According to the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) [*]:

      Americans lost nearly $360 million to online shopping scams last year — with many scammers using Costco’s name and branding to scam shoppers.

      Fraudsters impersonate Costco by using fake websites, social media ads, emails, and even traditional mail to steal victims’ personal information, trick them into paying for non-existent goods, or lure customers into giving up access to their online Costco accounts. 

      In this guide, we’ll explain how cybercriminals target Costco shoppers, the latest scams to watch out for, and what to do if you’ve fallen victim.


      What Are Costco Scams? How Do They Work?

      Costco scams occur when scammers impersonate Costco employees or the Costco brand in order to persuade victims to send money, give up personal details, or click on malicious links. 

      Scammers use numerous methods to run their Costco scams — from fake emails and texts to phishing websites, scam phone calls, and traditional mail. However, the majority of Costco scams follow a similar pattern: 

      • Scammers create messages, websites, or find other ways to impersonate Costco. Costco is such a massive company that scammers can use multiple schemes to target you. They may send fake text messages about your Costco order, fraudulent emails about delivery notifications, or post fake surveys on websites and social media platforms.
      • Next, they offer gift cards or use other schemes to create a sense of urgency. Fraudsters often make up urgent scenarios to try to get you to act quickly (and without thinking first). They may present an attractive (but time-sensitive) offer such as a large reward or gift card, or instill a sense of panic by threatening to have your Costco account closed or deliveries canceled.
      • If you engage, you’re pressured to share sensitive information, send money, or give up access. Scammers ask you to provide personal details, usually under the guise of confirming your identity. They may pressure you to give up your Costco login details, Social Security number (SSN), or personal contact information. In other cases, they pressure you to send them money or gift cards to pay for fake goods, warranties, or fees.
      • Any information you provide can then be used for identity theft. Once they have your information, the scammer can use it to hack into your Costco account, steal your identity, or even sell your personal details on the Dark Web.

      The bottom line: Costco scams can cost you more than money. If scammers get your personal information, they can steal your identity, hack your accounts, and empty your bank balance. Learn more about how Aura keeps you safe from scams, fraud, and identity theft

      The 10 Latest Costco Scams To Avoid

      1. Fake or look-alike Costco websites
      2. Fraudulent Costco giveaways
      3. Phony Costco order confirmation emails
      4. Costco survey text messages, emails, calls, or letters
      5. Spoofed social media posts 
      6. “Overcharge” reimbursement text messages
      7. Fake Costco job offers 
      8. Unexpected executive member reward emails
      9. Bogus delivery notifications
      10. “Free TV” scam messages

      Fraudsters are always looking for new ways to trick you by using Costco’s good name. Here are the latest Costco scams you need to watch out for:

      1. Fake or look-alike Costco websites

      Hackers create spoofed versions of the Costco website to try and trick victims into entering personal information or buying goods that they’ll never receive. These fake websites are often part of larger phishing scams that start with emails and texts. 

      How to spot a spoofed Costco website:

      • Double-check the URL. Scammers create websites with URLs that look similar to sites you’re familiar with (such as Always make sure you’re on the company’s official domain — — before entering any information.
      • Hover over links before clicking. Scammers often use hyperlinked text to make a link appear legitimate. Always hover over any links in emails before clicking on them in order to reveal the true URL.
      • Be wary if your usual login information doesn’t work. This is a telltale sign that you’re not actually on the real Costco website. If you enter your Costco account password and it doesn’t work or you’re redirected to a login page, your password may have been compromised and you should change it immediately.
      ⚠️ Get warned of fake websites and other online scams. Aura’s all-in-one digital security solution can protect you against fake websites, phishing links, and other online threats. Try Aura for free and secure yourself and your family against cybercrime.

      2. Fraudulent Costco giveaways

      In this phishing scam, victims receive an email or text claiming that they won a Costco giveaway — such as a gift card or electronic item. But if you click on any links in the message to see what you’ve won, you’re taken to a fraudulent website that either requests information to “verify” your identity or downloads malware to your device.

      How to spot a fraudulent Costco giveaway:

      • Ask yourself if the email seems too good to be true. If you don’t remember entering any type of giveaway, you can safely assume the “prize” is a scam.
      • Beware of generic email greetings. Consider it a red flag if you’re addressed generically — such as “Account Holder” or “Valued Customer” — rather than by your name. This often signifies a scammer targeting a multitude of victims at once.
      • It’s not sent from an official email address. Scammers use fake or spoofed email addresses to trick you. Always click on the “from” name to make sure the email was sent from an official Costco email address before clicking on links or responding. Digital Costco Shop Cards are the only exception to this rule and are sent from

      💡 Related: How To Spot a Sweepstakes or Lottery Scam

      3. Phony Costco order confirmation emails

      In this scam, you receive an email notification about a recent (usually large) Costco order supposedly placed from your account. If you try to check the details (or cancel the order via the provided link or support number listed in the email), you’reinstead contacted by a scammer posing as a customer service representative.

      What to do if you receive a phony Costco order confirmation:

      • Check your order history directly on the official Costco website. Don’t click on any links in an email. Instead, you can check to see if it was a fraudulent cart notification by logging in to your account and clicking on “Orders & Returns” near the top of the page. 
      • Call the official Costco phone number. If you get a confirmation for a large order that you don’t remember placing, don’t panic. Avoid calling any phone numbers listed in the email, and instead use Costco’s official number for online order support: 1-800-955-2292.

      4. Costco survey text messages, emails, calls, or letters

      This is another scam in which fraudsters reach out to potential victims via text, email, phone, or even in physical letters promising rewards or special offers if the recipients fill out surveys about their Costco experiences. Victims of survey scams are asked to reveal personal information including their names, addresses, or even bank account details.

      What to do if you receive a fraudulent survey from Costco:

      • Do a gut check. It’s not typical for companies to offer you large amounts of money just for completing a survey. If it feels too good to be true, it probably is. 
      • Always avoid giving out sensitive information in surveys. Legitimate companies will never ask for details like your SSN, two-factor authentication (2FA) codes, or bank account information when they send you customer satisfaction surveys. Any survey that requests these details is likely a scam.

      💡 Related: What Can Scammers Do With Your Name, Address, and Personal Info?

      5. Spoofed social media posts

      A more elaborate scheme involves fraudsters creating fraudulent social media profiles (often on Facebook) impersonating Costco. These scammers painstakingly build up their follower accounts by sharing phony Facebook posts and photos, and then either post about fake giveaways or share quizzes designed to steal personal information.

      How to identity a fake Costco social media profile:

      • Check to see if the account is verified. Look for a blue (sometimes green) check mark beside the profile name to determine if a Costco social media account is legitimate.
      • Review recent account activity. A recently-created account with few posts or followers is the hallmark of a fake social media profile.
      🥇 Don’t settle for second-best fraud protection. Aura’s all-in-one digital security solution has been rated #1 by, TechRadar, Forbes, and more. Try Aura for free today.

      6. “Overcharge” reimbursement text messages

      This scam usually comes in the form of a text message stating that you were overcharged for a recent Costco order. To claim your reimbursement, you’re instructed to click on a link and provide your bank details to process the “refund.” 

      In an even more elaborate version of this scheme, fraudsters get you on the phone and convince you to download AnyDesk or some other remote access software. Then, they manipulate your screen while you’re logged in to your online bank account and trick you into thinking they refunded you too much money. They then pressure you to send them the money back by using a different payment method (such as a wire transfer, PayPal, or Zelle).  

      How to avoid overcharge reimbursement scams:

      • Remember that overcharge refunds are typically processed automatically. In the event that Costco overcharges you for an order, the excess funds are refunded to you without any action required on your behalf. You may receive a notification letting you know that the refund was processed; but if you’re asked to click on a link or fill out a form just to get reimbursed, consider this a red flag.
      • Be wary if you’re asked for your bank account numbers to process a refund. A legitimate company that already has your payment information on file won’t ask you for your bank account or credit card numbers.

      💡 Related: Don’t Fall For These 7 Nasty Refund and Recovery Scams

      7. Fake Costco job offers

      This phishing scam starts with an email stating that Costco is hiring in your area. To schedule an interview, you’re asked to click on a link in the email — which may download malware to your device. In another version of the scheme, you’re asked to pay a large fee to “process” your application. Once you send the funds, the potential job offer disappears.

      How to avoid falling for a fake Costco job offer:

      • Know the warning signs of a job scam. Fraudsters use the promise of a well-paying job to scam victims. Look for typical warning signs of a job scam, such as requests for sensitive information, emails from non-official email addresses, and “interviews” on platforms like WhatsApp or via text messages.
      • Set up interviews over the phone — not through links in emails. If you’re contacted about a job interview, it’s best to speak to someone directly to set up a time to meet.
      • Never send money for applications or other processing fees. Real companies will never ask you to pay just to be considered for a job. If you’re asked for money at any point in the hiring process, this is a clear warning sign of a scam.

      8. Unexpected executive member reward emails

      This scam specifically targets Costco executive members. You receive an email saying you’ve earned a reward and need to claim it before it expires. If you click on the provided link, you could unknowingly download malware to your device. In some cases, you’re taken to a page asking for personal information to receive your reward.

      How to avoid the Costco executive member reward scam:

      • Ignore these emails if you aren’t an executive member. Executive membership requires an additional charge on top of a regular Costco membership. If you’re not an executive member and receive one of these emails, you can safely assume it’s a scam.
      • Double-check all links before clicking. Before clicking on a link in an unsolicited email, hover over it to reveal the true URL.

      💡 Related: 20 Email Phishing Examples (and How To Spot Them)

      9. Bogus delivery notifications

      Scammers know that if you’re a Costco customer, there’s a good chance you might be waiting on a delivery. In this scam, fraudsters impersonate Costco or even the United States Postal Service (USPS) and claim there was a mistake in your shipping address (or another issue) with your delivery. If you click on the provided link to fix the problem, you’re taken to a look-alike website that steals your login credentials.

      What to do if you get a delivery error notice about a Costco order:

      • Check the status of your orders directly. Don’t check the status of orders through links in unsolicited emails. Instead, log in to your account and click on “Orders & Returns” near the top of the page. From there, you can click on the tracking link to see if a delivery problem is listed.
      • Ignore delivery emails and texts claiming to be from USPS. The USPS doesn’t send emails or texts about failed delivery attempts or unclaimed packages. If you receive one, avoid interacting with it in any way, as it’s a scam.

      10. “Free TV” scam messages

      In this scam, you receive an email or message claiming you’ve been chosen to receive a loyalty reward as a show of customer appreciation. You’re offered a free Samsung television – all you have to do is fill out a short survey about your recent Costco experience.

      How to avoid the free television Costco scam:

      • Ask yourself if the offer seems too good to be true. As tempting as receiving a free television sounds, the majority of offers like these are scams.
      • Check the sender’s email. Click on the “from” name to reveal the sender’s email address. If it’s not from a email domain, it’s a scam.
      • Watch for strange phrasing or generic greetings. Any grammatical errors or unnatural phrasing are usually signs of a scam. Similarly, if the email starts out with a generic greeting like “Member” rather than your name, that’s also cause for concern.
      ⚡️ Get warned fast if scammers have your personal or financial information. Aura monitors and protects your most sensitive information with Dark Web monitoring, suspicious transaction notifications, and the industry’s fastest fraud alerts. Try Aura for free today.

      Were You the Victim of a Costco Scam? Do This

      Falling for a Costco scam can have serious implications — including losing access to your account, getting your bank account hacked, or having your identity stolen. 

      As soon as you realize you’re the victim of a Costco scam, follow these steps to minimize the damage:

      • Cease all communication with the scammer. Trying to reason with a scammer is not only unlikely to work — it can also open you up to future scams. Document every interaction you’ve had with the individual, and then delete the messages or emails.
      • Contact Costco. Reach out to Costo support to report any suspicious emails or contacts that are impersonating the Costco Wholesale name. You can find Costco’s official contact information here.
      • Report the fraud to the FTC. If you gave up personal information, file an official identity theft report at An FTC report is required for disputing fraudulent charges and can help prove your innocence. You should also report details of the fraud at
      • File a report with your local police department. This is especially important if funds were stolen or if you have information that could lead to an arrest. Reporting to law enforcement will establish a paper trail to help you potentially recover stolen money.
      • Contact your bank. If you believe your debit or credit card was compromised, reach out to your financial institution immediately. They will likely cancel your cards and re-issue new ones.
      • Check and freeze your credit. If you gave scammers your SSN, they may attempt to get loans or open accounts in your name. Request copies of your credit reports by visiting You can also request a credit freeze to prevent any new credit from being taken out in your name. To do this, you need to contact each of the three major bureaus individually — Experian, Equifax, and TransUnion.

      💡 Related: What To Do If You’ve Been Scammed Out Of Money

      How To Stay Safe When Shopping at Costco

      While most anyone would love a free Costco gift card or other exclusive offers, any unsolicited contact offering these perks is a clear warning sign of a scam.

      Here’s what you can do to keep your Costco and other accounts safe from scammers:

      • Make sure you’re always on the official website. Before browsing or making a purchase, double-check that you’re on the correct domain. Remember, any true Costco page should start with
      • Don’t click on suspicious links in emails, texts, or social media messages. Hover over links before clicking on them in order to reveal the destination URL. To hover over links on a mobile device, press and hold the link until a bubble appears revealing the full URL.
      • Beware of “free gifts” and too-good-to-be-true deals. Costco is unlikely to contact you out of the blue with generous offers — especially if you never entered a giveaway. Ask yourself if an offer seems realistic before providing any information about yourself.
      • Install antivirus software on your devices. Antivirus software helps protect your devices in the event that you accidentally click on a malicious link on a spoofed Costco website or in a phishing email. 
      • Don’t give out extra personal information — especially over the phone. Legitimate companies — including Costco — won’t ask you for sensitive details over the phone. If you’re being asked to provide data like your SSN or credit card information, it’s probably a scam.
      • Avoid non-standard payment methods (gift cards, wire transfers, etc.). Any request for payment through these methods is a telltale sign that you’re dealing with a scammer. Credit card transactions are more secure, and they offer protections that non-standard payment methods don’t include.
      • Use a virtual private network (VPN) when shopping on public Wi-Fi. A VPN can mask your IP address while shopping on public Wi-Fi networks, making it less likely a cybercriminal will intercept your data.
      • Consider signing up for a digital security service. Aura provides award-winning identity theft protection to keep you and your family safe from online scams.

      Scammers target Costco shoppers because they comprise such a large pool of potential victims — many of whom love a good deal, making them more likely to fall for “exclusive giveaways” and other enticing offers.

      Make sure you slow down and scrutinize any communication that you receive from Costco, and always confirm that it’s legitimate. For added security, consider signing up for Aura’s comprehensive digital safety solution. 

      With Aura, you get award-winning identity theft and fraud protection, a full suite of advanced online security and scam protection tools, as well as 24/7 access to U.S.-based White Glove Fraud Resolution Specialists and up to $5 million in identity theft insurance for you and your family.

      Get award-winning scam and fraud protection. Try Aura free for 14 days.

      Editorial note: Our articles provide educational information for you to increase awareness about digital safety. Aura’s services may not provide the exact features we write about, nor may cover or protect against every type of crime, fraud, or threat discussed in our articles. Please review our Terms during enrollment or setup for more information. Remember that no one can prevent all identity theft or cybercrime.

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