Consumer Alert: New Gift Card Text Message Scam

By: Caroline Vandergriff Email
By: Caroline Vandergriff Email

Tis the season for scam artists, and thieves are now going after people via text message.

People get a text from a major retailer thinking they have won a gift card, but that text could lead to trouble. The Better Business Bureau says it's one of the top five scams going around right now.

Typically, you receive a message saying you have won a gift card to Best Buy or Target. The message directs you to a website, and gives you a pin number to log in with. However, once you do log in, it asks for your personal information. Experts say that's a red flag.

"We hear people get caught up in the hype," said Peggy Penders with the Better Business Bureau. "They want to believe that they've won $1,000 and before they know it, they've given away their personal information and credit card information as well. Just don't do it."

Both Target and Best Buy have been warning consumers about this scam.

You may be wondering how the scam artists get your cell phone number in the first place. They send out these messages to thousands of random numbers - yours just happens to be one of them.

Do not reply though, because then the scam artists know the number belongs to someone, and you may get even more messages.

"It's really important that consumers are aware this is going on and when this does pop up to really pay attention and just delete," Penders said.

The only way the scammers might stop is if they don't succeed. The Better Business Bureau says these kinds of scams always ramp up around the holidays.


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