Publix shoppers are the latest targets of a coupon scam on Facebook promising $75 off an $80 purchase. Customers took to social media to report receiving a link by private message, complete with expiration date, UPC code, terms and conditions and even the Publix logo and slogan.
The link directs users to a fake Publix website, then prompts them to share the offer with 15 friends -- but not before entering their personal information to receive the gift card.
The grocery chain quickly addressed the hoax on Facebook and Twitter:
"There is a fraudulent Publix coupon circulating on social media that states $75 off your purchase of $80 or more,'" the company said. "This is not supported by Publix, and this coupon is not valid at any of our locations. We recommend not participating in the promotion or providing your personal information."
Publix is investigating the situation.
RELATED: 10 supermarket traps to avoid
10 supermarket traps
Beware this Publix coupon scam
Large shopping carts
According to Martin Lindstrom, the larger the shopping cart, the more likely you are to spend. The marketing consultant told The Consumerist, "We doubled their size as a test, and customers bought 19% more."
Pleasing aromas and colorful sights
Walking into a grocery store and smelling freshly baked goods and flowers, especially if you're in a good mood, is a surefire way to get you to throw a few unnecessary items into your cart as your begin shopping experience.
Fresh produce first
After you've already been tricked into picking up a loaf of bread or some flowers, supermarkets also get you by placing the produce in the front of the store. By doing this, they fool you into believing you're being healthier by shopping for fruits and veggies first so you won't feel bad if you decide to stock up on a few unhealthier snacks along the way to checkout, too.
Mist on produce
You may think the mist on fresh fruits and veggies is helping the produce, but in all actuality, it makes them rot faster. Also, be sure to shake off the access water before purchasing your produce -- the mist tends to add additional weight, making the price go up.
Slow, boring music
Have you ever wondered why most grocery stores play some sort of elevator music? It's because they want you to take your time while shopping. Many stores play music slower than the average heartbeat, so pop your headphones in and play upbeat music to combat this trick.
It's common to believe you're getting a great deal during a 10-for-$10 promotion, but say, if a can of beans was originally 87 cents, you're actually paying more versus buying 10 of the same cans when they aren't on "sale."
Dairy being in the back of the store
The reasoning behind the age-old trick of placing milk and other dairy products in the back of the store may surprise you. Although it forces you to walk through various aisles, the true reason is because trucks unload their shipments in the back of store, and since milk needs to be refrigerated immediately, the easiest place to keep it is in the back.
More expensive items at eye level
If you've ever wondered why all of the expensive items seem to be the most accessible, there's a reason behind that, too. Supermarkets place cheaper items on the lower and higher shelves and reserve the middle, or eyesight level, shelves for their most expensive products.
Buying premium deli products
Just because you are buying a seemingly fresh cut of meat or fish from the deli and paying a higher price, doesn't necessarily mean the product is of better quality. Often times, the meat was previously frozen meaning you may have to use it sooner than meat you would buy from the frozen section.
Changing the layout of the store... often
Don't get too comfortable with your local supermarket's layout. Markets believe that when a person remembers where there items they plan on buying are, they'll spend less time in the store and will ultimately spend less money.
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If you receive a scammy coupon, it's best to ignore it. And if a company offers a discount, be sure to confirm its legitimacy before turning over any personal information. Giving up personal details like your full name, address and email can help scammers target you in the future and use your own information against you, potentially even stealing your identity (and wrecking your credit) in the process.