If an offer on social media seems too good to be true, know that it probably is. Such was the case on Nov. 29, when a bogus “offer” for free groceries was posted to Facebook by an account purporting to be that of international grocery chain Aldi.
The posting, which was directed at various Facebook groups in the Cincinnati, Ohio, area according to Cincinnati.com, claimed that anyone who shared the post before 6 p.m. that day and registered through a link would receive $100 in free groceries from the supermarket.
Aldi USA quickly stepped in to respond via their own official Facebook page with a post reading:
“Hey ALDI fans! Looks like another Facebook scam is making its way around. We can confirm it is a scam and the page has no affiliation with ALDI. We’re sorry for any confusion this may have caused! We have been working with Facebook since yesterday to get the page taken down, but we’d love your help! Please share this post to help us spread the word and always be sure to look for the blue checkmark by our name for authenticity!”
Unfortunately, many Facebook users had already been fooled by this scam post before Aldi could intervene. Within hours, more than 644,000 people had shared the fake posting that included the bogus registration link. This highlights the dire financial circumstances many Americans currently find themselves in during the pandemic. Many people cannot afford to buy groceries or are having trouble feeding their families, making this scam especially cruel.
Even worse, it wasn’t an isolated event.
Mere days before the Cincinnati-centric scam, there was another fake Aldi promotional post making the rounds on Facebook, according to The Kansas City Star. It read in part: “My name is Jason Hart and I’m the CEO of Aldi Inc. To celebrate our 75th birthday, Every single person who shares and comments by 6 PM Sunday will get one of these Christmas Food Box delivered straight to their door on Monday 30th November.”
Aldi has reminded all of its fans to “Always be sure to look for the blue checkmark by our name for authenticity!” You should definitely follow this tip if you ever see a promotional grocery post on social media. And if you’re not sure, do not click any link or reshare the post. Instead, reach out to the company directly via their official account to confirm the offer is real.