Starbucks Hit by Fake Ad, Phone Scam

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Success, they say, is its own reward. Sometimes, though, there’s a penalty to pay as well.

Over the past few days, Starbucks Corp. (NASDAQ: SBUX) has been the victim of a fake ad offering a 40% discount on any menu item for “undocumented Americans” on August 11. The ad is titled “Starbucks Dreamer Day,” a reference to the Development, Relief, and Education for Alien Minors (DREAM) Act that protects from deportation undocumented immigrants to the United States who were brought here as children and who have lived in the country for at least four years.

Starbucks’ senior vice-president of global communications has said the ad is “completely false. One hundred percent fake.”

According to a report at ThinkProgress, the ad appears to have originated at a website called 4chan. The report notes:

The point of the ad, as the creator pointed out on 4chan, is to get undocumented immigrants to go to Starbucks to ask for “free stuff,” a claim that perpetuates the myth that these people are freeloaders on U.S. society. Users have also suggested calling the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) agency to target Starbucks on Friday the 11th so that immigrants can be detained and potentially deported at the shops.

In an unrelated incident at a Starbucks store in South Carolina, a Starbucks store was scammed out of more than $2,600 when a caller claiming to be a corporate representative told a store employee that the district manager had been arrested following allegations of embezzlement. The employee was told to gather up all the cash in the store, close the store early, and await further instructions. Further details are available at The State.