If the coupon sounds too good to be true, it probably isn't any good.
Coupons offering amazing deals at well-known stores are popping up periodically on Facebook. The logo looks real. And the deal looks even better.
Who wouldn't look twice at the promise of a coupon offering 50 percent off everything at a favorite national store? Or $100 off $120 of groceries at a supermarket chain? Just click on the link.
But this holiday season, shoppers need to take time for a reality check on some of those supposed great deals, which are really just scammers trying to collect personal information.
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A friend quickly realized she was headed for heartache earlier this shopping season when she spotted a post from one of her friends for a 50 percent off coupon at Kohl's.
The coupon looked legitimate, she said.
Yet to get the supposed coupon, one had to click through a three-step process.
Step one: Share on Facebook. Step two: Like on Facebook. Step three: Gimme your credit card number.
Nah, just kidding. The third step tends to be a little less obvious but it is suspicious nonetheless.
Step three: Click here and take a survey to answer a variety of questions, including a section that will ask for personal information.
Remember that even if you become suspicious, by the time you hit step three, you've already shared the link to your friends.
Social media sites have been inundated with coupon offers claiming consumers can obtain an extremely high value coupon at many locations, said Cindy Livesey, who has appeared as a coupon expert on the "Rachael Ray Show."
One offer for a grocery chain promised a $100 coupon when $75 was spent.
"That alone should put up some red flags as no store will give you more off than you actually spend," Livesey said.
She suggests taking time to do a Google search if something doesn't seem right.
Susan Tompor, personal finance columnist for the Detroit Free Press, can be reached at stomporfreepress.com.