Warning Issued on Gift Card Scam

Identity theft is aim of text messaging scheme, Stern says.

Suffolk Legis. Steve Stern, D-Huntington, is warning residents about another scam.

"Smishing" scammers send potential victims text messages congratulating them for winning gift cards and directing them to sites masquerading as major retail sites. They include such stores as Best Buy, Target and Walmart. There, victims are told to enter personal information such as name, cellphone number, mailing address and other personal information. 

The Better Business Bureau (BBB) recently issued a warning on such scams, advising consumers that this information is used in identity theft operations and to target advertising.  BBB recommends that recipients of such texts ignore such messages and to avoid even any link to remove a phone number from the distribution list. 

Any response validates the contact information for the scammer.

You can forward any “smishing” texts to 7726 (SPAM) to alert your mobile carrier to block future texts from these numbers.  “We have all received texts congratulating us for “winning” a gift card,” Stern said.  “Legitimate retailers do not send out texts soliciting personal information.  Scammers use very sophisticated looking websites to fool people into providing this information.” 

Visit www.bbb.org/scam-stopper  for more information about how to protect yourself from text and email scams.



unknownauthor December 25, 2012 at 12:52 PM
Another scam everyone should be aware of is the Amway Tool Scam. Google "Stop The Amway Tool Scam Wordpress" for more information, and forward this to every non-Distributor/IBO you know, so they don't get scammed.
JSC December 25, 2012 at 01:24 PM
I've gotten several of those texts supposedly from Target in the last couple of months. Of course I ignored and deleted them. Wish I knew about the 7726 number to forward to my carrier beforehand!


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