Wal-Mart Gift Card Scam Hits Akron Area

June 27, 2011
Akron, OH – June 27, 2011 – The Better Business Bureau serving Ashland, Medina, Portage, Richland, Summit & Wayne Counties is warning consumers they may receive phone calls informing them they have won Wal-Mart gift cards. You can be out several hundred dollars by falling prey to this scam.

A local consumer has contacted the BBB about a phone call he had received informing him that he had won a $100 Wal-Mart gift card.  He only needed to provide a credit card number where they could charge the $2.95 shipping fees for him to receive the card. Luckily the consumer was leery about this offer and didn’t fall for the scammers’ request.  The BBB is warning that several hundred dollars could be charged to your card by providing this information.

Wal-Mart is aware of this scam and has a disclaimer on their website warning their customers about this.  Wal-Mart stated that these phone calls are not from them, as they will never initiate a phone call where they ask for sensitive personal data like credit card information or social security numbers.  If you have won a gift card from them, it will be delivered via Certified Mail.

The BBB wants consumers to be aware of this scam and has the following tips to follow to prevent them from falling victim to this scam:
•    Treat unsolicited requests for personal data with suspicion.
•    Contact the actual business that supposedly sent the e-mail, text or phone number to verify if it’s genuine.
•    Always enter information on secure Web sites. Remember, companies you do business with will never ask you to send your Social Security number, account numbers, passwords or PINs within messages. They already have them on file.
•    Check your monthly statements to verify transactions. Notify companies immediately of erroneous or suspicious transactions.
•    Shred all paper containing personal information, such as account numbers and bank statements.

If you have fallen victim to this, remember to:
•    Report it to your local Police Department.
•    Contact your banking institution and close your affected accounts.
•    Contact the Credit Reporting Agencies (Experian, TransUnion, Equifax), and place a fraud alert on your account.
•    File a complaint with the Federal Trade Commission, (877) 382-4357, or at www.ftc.gov.

For more information on identity theft contact your local Better Business Bureau at (800)-825-8887 or visit:  www.akron.bbb.org.