Costco Just Sent Out This Major Warning to Shoppers

The retailer warns that you could be putting yourself in danger.

Costco's ability to provide shoppers with bulk items at a discounted price sets it apart from most other stores, which is probably how it's developed such a loyal fanbase. Even as the store has been forced to adapt to challenging times—whether that means purchase limits on certain items or ending popular programs—it has managed to retain a steady flow of members. Now, Costco is rewarding those same customers with an urgent warning about something that could be putting them in danger. Read on to find out what the retailer is alerting you to now.

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Costco is well aware that customers are facing financial challenges.

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Whether you shop at Costco or not, you're likely feeling the heat of these economic times. Robert Nelson, the senior vice president for investor relations and treasury at Costco, recently warned that inflation is continuing to rise, with the estimated price inflation now being in the 7 percent range. Even a retailer as big as Costco has had to adapt. According to Nelson, this has forced the company to reluctantly increase the prices for some of its food products recently, including muffins and croissants. "As you know, we're not the first one to go up when we have higher costs," he said.

Now, Costco is sending out a warning that's about protecting its shoppers' wallets.

Costco has just sent out a new urgent alert to shoppers.

Costco Wholesale Location. Costco Wholesale is a Multi-Billion Dollar Global Retailer
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You might shop at Costco for bargains, but your bank account could be in danger if you're not careful. In late May, Costco updated its collection of "currently known scams" to warn shoppers about a new scheme utilizing a fraudulent website. The update shows a screenshot of a website that looks nearly identical to Costco's official marketplace site, filled with the company's logo and name. But the URL is not Costco.com, and the browser indicates that the site is not secure.

According to Costco, scammers running fake websites might be trying to take your money by getting you to purchase an item that will then not be delivered to you. They might also be trying to get you to disclose personal information that they can steal, such as your name, address, social security number, credit card info, bank account number, PINs, and passwords.

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One shopper recently reported falling victim to a fake Costco website.

Costco.com website homepage. It is the largest American membership-only warehouse club. Costco logo visible.
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Costco's update follows actual reports from shoppers. On May 31, Consumer Affairs reported that at least one consumer has been targeted by this Costco scam. Robert, a resident of Renton, Washington, sent a review to the consumer organization detailing out how he had fallen victim to a fraudulent online website posing as the wholesale retailer.

"A company I ordered from uses your logo and email," Robert explained in his review to Costco. "I believe it's a fake site but your logo appears on their web page. They offer products at great discounted prices. However, I never received the product l ordered or [a] response to my email."

Costco advises shoppers to watch out for a number of signs that could indicate a website is fake and not actually affiliated with the retailer. This includes the site having obvious grammar and spelling errors, the website domain name and email addresses on the site not being related to Costco.com, and the time zone listed being a non-U.S. time zone.

There are other scams trying to capitalize on this company's name and logo.

customers walking into a costco wholesale location
Trong Nguyen / Shutterstock

This is hardly the only Costco scam out there, of course. The wholesale retailer now has 22 different schemes on its "currently known scams" list, from a flurry of fraudulent Facebook offers to a fake email indicating that Costco is interviewing for employee positions in your area. According to Consumer Affairs, this is a "strong reminder that Costco customers have become attractive targets who should think before they click."

"It is an unfortunate fact of the Internet that at any given time there are numerous illegitimate pop-up ads, surveys, websites, emails, social media posts and advertisements that purport to be from or authorized by Costco," Costco warns on its website. "It is unlikely that Costco is affiliated with these promotions."

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