Text Scams! BEWARE!

BBB: Don’t Fall for Text Messages Offering ‘Free’ Gift Cards!

Recent Messages appear to be from Walmart and Best Buy!

If you receive a text message saying you “have been randomly selected for a $1000 Best Buy Card” or another text offering you a free Walmart gift card, delete the message! This is a smishing scam! Both text messages ask you to click on a link to claim your “prize.” Some BBB employees received the Best Buy text message last night.

Smishing is a relatively new twist on an old scam that capitalizes on the growth in smartphones. A smishing scam is a phishing scam that is sent to you via SMS text to your phone, instead of via email to your computer.
Scams like this use names that you recognize – like Walmart, Best Buy, other popular retailers, or even your bank. If you click on the link in the text message, you will be asked for personal information that could be used to steal your identity.

If you receive similar texts or emails, the BBB has this advice:

  • Do not click on links in text messages or emails offering prizes or ‘free’ products or trial offers.
  • Delete any texts or emails that claim you have won a prize or are eligible for a free product.
  • Do not provide personal information to claim ‘prizes’ or to sign up for free trials.
  • Never give your credit card number, social security number or bank account information to pay for fees, taxes, or shipping costs for anything that you may have ‘won’ or are getting for ‘free’.
  • Check your bank statements and credit cards on a regular basis for unauthorized charges.
  • Discuss smishing scams with all members of your family who have cell phones, from the youngest to the oldest.
  • Check your and your children’s credit reports with all three credit bureaus annually for any unauthorized credit accounts that have been opened using your social security numbers. You can get a free credit report, three times per year, at www.annualcreditreport.com

For more information, go to www.bbb.org or call 1-800-388-2222.