My intentions are not to hurt anyone's feelings but…something, I have to say something. In lieu of this "$100 off" Target coupon scam that's been popping up all over Facebook this week and the many friends, most of which I would consider very intelligent, I have seen "Sharing" this scam, I just have to say something.
To be blunt, I am truly saddened by the death of common sense. I don't know exactly when the time of death was but I'm pretty sure rigor mortis has set in by now.
Let's start with the obvious: If you have an internet connection or a television set, you should probably print this proverb out and tape it next to your screen. Say it with me now "If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is." Let's take a moment to stop and logically think about this: Sooooo…you're telling me that Target is giving away $100 to anyone who follows the two steps of "Sharing and Commenting" on their Facebook post. Target currently has nearly 24 MILLION Likes on their Facebook page. Doesn't that seem a little too good to be true? Anyone? Moving on.
Moving past that whole "Sounds too good to be true" nonsense, let's focus on the coupon itself. Now, why on earth would Target go through the trouble of printing a wordy coupon that gives customers "$100 off" a "Food and/or beverage purchase of $100 or more?" Seems a little redundant doesn't it? Why would they not just print a coupon that says, "$100 Free Food & Beverage" and be done with it? Honestly? Moving on.
Next, according to Wikipedia, Target made nearly 73 BILLION in revenue and nearly 2 BILLION in net income in 2013. Companies that tend to generate that much money in a year do not generally dick around with word spacing this bad in their ads and coupons. In the "Food and/or beverage…" section of the coupon, look carefully at the spacing of the "$100" between the "of" and the "or." Doesn't that look a little odd to you? Looks a little crammed in there compared to the rest of the ad's word spacing doesn't it? Not something you'd expect from a company ranked #36 on the 2014 Fortune 500 list. Photoshop much? Details, schmetails. Moving on.
Finally, here's where 20+ years of photoshop experience kicks in. Some lower resolution images have what is called "noise." Simply put, noise is the digital equivalent of film grain. For the most part, the dark and light noise specks are random and sporadic through out the photo. If you look carefully at the image that's been shared on Facebook many times over though, you'll notice something odd in the large "100 off" type. Now look closely at the zeros. In the lower right corner and upper left corner of one of the zeros, around 4pm and 11pm, you will notice dark bits of unique noise. These anomalies, along with the rest of the noise in the zero are copied exactly in the second zero.
Now granted, this Facebook scam will most likely all but disappear in a matter of weeks if not days. My hope and purpose for this post is to open at least one person's eyes to future scams. I mean, don't get me wrong, I like Target too, but I also really like people who don't fall for obvious scams. Next time you come across something that seems "too good to be true," please, take a moment to think logically about it before sharing it on Facebook and looking like a damn fool who is blindly following the Facebook herd.
Wake. Up. People.