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Scam Central

Text message offering Walmart gift card is a smishing scam

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Better Business Bureau
March 22, 2012 | 2,563 views | Post a comment

BBB advises consumers to delete, not reply to the text

AUSTIN, Texas -- Have you received a text message offering you a free Walmart gift card? Despite the attraction of a $1,000 gift card, Better Business Bureau is warning consumers that the Walmart gift card text message is a smishing scam.

While the exact wording of the text message is not always the same, these are a couple versions that have been sent to BBB:

“You just won a free $1000 Walmart Gift Card, enter “1000” at http://promocenter.ws/walmart

“Dear Walmart shopper, Congratulations you have just won a $1000 Walmart Gift Card. Click here to claim your gift. www.ShopCard2012.com (cancel: STOP)

This scam is using Walmart’s name and popularity to lure in victims. Nationwide, consumers report to BBB they are requested to provide personal identifying information in response to the “questions” or “smishing,” and to provide credit card information to cover the costs of shipping and handling. Consumers who actually complete the gift card program often find themselves fulfilling “sponsor offers” which may include:

·“free trial offers” requiring credit card for shipping and handling, which may result in recurring monthly fees;

·surveys resulting in the sell or distribution of personal marketing information which will result in increased solicitations, telemarketing and junk mail; and

·unwanted subscriptions.

Walmart has posted an alert on its website claiming the text messages and sites being used are not from Walmart, nor are they associated in any way with Walmart.

If you receive a similar text, BBB advises:

·Do not reply. Replying to a spam text only verifies that your number is active, meaning more messages can be sent.

·Avoid unknown links. Do not click on any link sent by an unknown party.

·Block suspicious numbers. If you have received texts from an unknown number, contact your phone provider to block the number the texts are originating from.

·Do not store personal information on your phone. Avoid storing credit card and account login information in emails or notes on your phone.

To check the reliability of a company and find trustworthy businesses, visit www.bbb.org.

About Better Business Bureau:
BBB's mission is to be the leader in advancing marketplace trust. BBB accomplishes this mission by creating a community of trustworthy businesses, setting standards for marketplace trust, encouraging and supporting best practices, celebrating marketplace role models and denouncing substandard marketplace behavior.

Businesses that earn BBB Accreditation contractually agree and adhere to the organization's high standards of ethical business behavior. BBB is the preeminent resource to turn to for objective, unbiased information on businesses and charities.

Contact BBB serving Central, Coastal, Southwest Texas and the Permian Basin at (512) 445-4748.

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