Text message Offering Free Walmart Gift Card is a Scam

March 20, 2012
Have you received a text message offering you a free Walmart gift card? The BBB is warning consumers that the Walmart gift card text message is a smishing scam.

The text message says - “Walmart $1000 gift card for the first 1000 users to go to LINK REMOVED and enter code 2938.”

Smishing is a relatively new twist on an old scam that capitalizes on the explosive 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 frequently capitalize on popular brands or corporations to lure in victims. These scams will attempt to acquire your personal information under the guise of signing up for the gift card. That information could then be used to steal your identity.

Walmart has posted an an alert on their website about the gift card scam at: http://walmartstores.com/PrivacySecurity/10840.aspx?p=9620

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

· Discuss smishing scams with all members of your family who have cell phones, from the youngest to the oldest.

· 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.

· Check you 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 at www.annualcreditreport.com.  

For more information about protecting your identity, please visit www.bbb.org.