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Scam alert! Aldi warns customers about fake ad for free groceries

The Facebook post was widely circulated over the weekend.
If it seems too good to be true … don't share it on Facebook.
If it seems too good to be true … don't share it on Facebook.Mark Waugh / Alamy
/ Source: TODAY

If something sounds too good to be true, it often is, and an Aldi offer for free groceries that's been making the rounds on Facebook this week is, in fact, a scam.

The post, which was widely circulated on the social media platform over the weekend, came from a fake Facebook page claiming to be the popular retailer and included a message from the company's CEO Jason Hart.

"To celebrate our 75th Birthday, Every single person who shares and comments by 2 PM Sunday will get one of these Christmas Food Box delivered straight to their door on Monday 30th November. Each Food box contains groceries worth $75 and a $25 ALDI voucher," the post read.

The post, which has since been removed, then prompted Facebook users to visit a website to validate their entry.

A screenshot of the bogus Facebook message.

Retailers have been vying for shoppers' attention with a multitude of Black Friday and Cyber Monday sales over the last few days, so it's not surprising that some unsuspecting shoppers might have thought the offer was the real deal. But, on Sunday, the real Aldi Facebook account confirmed the offer was fake.

"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!" the brand wrote.

An Aldi representative went on to explain that the company, which recently released its coveted Advent calendars, had been working with Facebook to get the fake account taken down and asked shoppers for their help.

"Please share this post to help us spread the word and always be sure to look for the blue check mark by our name for authenticity!" the post continued.

Online scams happen all year long, but they're particularly common during the holiday season, and this isn't the first time we've seen a bogus deal for free groceries. A similar scam popped up this time last year whena fake ad claimed that Kroger was giving away a year's worth of free groceries for a few families.

Much like the Aldi scam, the Kroger one originated on Facebook and tried to lure customers in with the following message: "To celebrate Christmas this year we are giving a special gift of an entire year of free groceries to four lucky families that share/comment by 5:00 pm Saturday! Best of luck and Happy Holidays!"

Once Kroger caught wind of the scam, the company issued the following warning to its Twitter followers: "We are aware of this fraudulent page and are working to address this matter. We recommend not engaging with the posting, and we appreciate your patronage."

Grocery stores aren't the only retailers who are vulnerable to online scammers. Last November, a fake $75 Costco coupon and a bogus $100 Kohl's coupon also made the rounds on Facebook.