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Costco Email With These 4 Words Could Steal Your Credit Card Info, Officials Warn

One shopper recently shared their experience with this rising Costco scam.

While Costco may have alienated some shoppers over its recent membership crackdown, the wholesale retailer still has plenty of loyal fans. But that ongoing loyalty could put you in a compromising position thanks to a new con affecting the company's customers. Officials are now warning about a Costco email scam designed to steal your credit card info after a shopper shared his alarming experience.

RELATED: Shoppers Are Ditching Costco for Sam's Club Over New Membership Rules.

In a Jan. 10 interview with NBC-affiliate KYTV in Springfield, Missouri, Costco customer Michael Brown said he did a double-take when he saw an email in his inbox claiming that his Costco membership had expired.

"It looked so real," he told the news outlet.

Despite having an auto-renewing membership, Brown—who has been a member with the wholesale retailer for a decade—admitted that the email piqued his curiosity. The message told him that he could extend his Costco account for 90 days without charge.

"When I clicked on it, they wanted all sorts of information. My bank card number, my address, my phone number," he explained. "That's when I said no."

Brown said he ended up calling Costco, and was told that his membership was not expired.

"They were just as friendly as they could be and assured me I was on the right track," he told KYTV.

RELATED: Costco Rolling Out Controversial New Shopping Carts: "I Loathe These."

It appears that Brown is not be the only one who has received this type of email recently. The District Attorney's Office in Sonoma County, California, issued an alert on Feb. 15, warning shoppers that if they get a message indicating their Costco membership has expired, "it is likely a scam."

"This email has been circulating," officials stated in the alert. "Check with your local Costco store or contact Costco through their customer service on their website if you are concerned about the status of your membership."

Costco also updated the "Currently Known Scams" section of its website on Feb. 15 to include information about this potentially rising scheme. The retailer provided two photo examples of fraudulent membership expired emails that shoppers might find in their inbox.

At the top of both messages, there are four words that should set off alarms for customers: "Your Membership/Account has expired!"

Costco scam email examples for expired memberships

Per Costco, if you receive an email with this warning, you should assume that you're dealing with a scam designed to steal your credit card information.

"These offers are not from Costco Wholesale," the retailer states on its website. "You should not visit any links provided in messages such as these, and you should not provide the sender any personal information."

Costco will never ask for  your credit card information through "unsolicited electronic communications" either, according to the retailer's website.

"If you receive a communication that looks like it is from Costco, check to see who sent it," the retailer advises. "Be aware of typos and misspellings and, in particular, of return addresses and contact links that do not end with a plain '' The sender of any email communication from Costco would be from a domain. When in doubt, don't respond."

KYTV spoke to the Better Business Bureau (BBB) to get more guidance for Costco shoppers who might come across these fake expired membership emails.

"The best thing to do is go into your account on the app or website," BBB Regional Director Pamela Hernandez told the news station. "If you have a membership like a Costco or an Amazon Prime account, you can log into your account and go directly to the website. If there's a problem, there will be something about your membership expiring or some sort of notification in your account with the business."

Kali Coleman
Kali Coleman is a Senior Editor at Best Life. Her primary focus is covering news, where she often keeps readers informed on the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic and up-to-date on the latest retail closures. Read more
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