BBB Scam Alert: Don’t Fall for This Deceptive Postcard Mailing

January 30, 2014

With this new ploy, postcards are being mailed to Central Ohio residents, banking on the fact that they will be so enticed by the offer of a Walmart or Target gift card, they won’t check the offer or who sent it carefully. Don't fall for it. Wal-Mart and Target have no connection with reward and gift savings sweepstakes and do not partner with agencies that offer rewards with advance fee stipulations.

How the Trick Works:

You receive a postcard in the mail offering a Walmart or Target gift card. Once you call the number listed, you are urged to provide your credit card or banking information to cover a $1.95 shipping and handling fee. In reality, requesting funds for shipping and handling is often a way of getting personal information including bank account, credit card, and social security numbers.

What's going on here?

A Newark, Ohio man reported calling the "customer support" site and agreeing to have $1.95 debited from his bank account. Days later he got a letter from MV 24/7 +ID Protection. They had debited his account for $24.95. He called them and asked them to return the money to his account and they agreed. However, don't take their word for it. Contact your bank to report the charges and request a new credit card. Your card information has been compromised, and it may be used again.

Reduce Your Risk of Card Fraud:

• 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’. A true sweepstakes will not make its winner pay fees.

• Check your bank statements and credit cards on a regular basis for unauthorized charges.

• If a company name is provided, go to to check out the business or to find a BBB Accredited Business you can trust.

If you need more information, contact the BBB at (614) 486-6336. You can also Follow us on Twitter @BBBcentralohio.

To learn about scams, check out BBB Scam Stopper.