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Better Business Bureau ®
Start With Trust®
Louisville, Southern Indiana and Western Kentucky
BBB Warns: Don’t Fall for Walmart Gift Card Scam
January 26, 2010

The Walmart gift card scam has apparently made its way to Kentucky. A local consumer contacted the BBB to inquire about a text message she received, advising her that she won a $200 Walmart gift card. When she called the number in the text message (877-232-5149) she was told that in Kentucky the gift card was for $180 and that she would need to pay $7.60 for shipping/handling fees. She was then asked to provide her credit or debit card number. Luckily, the inquirer was skeptical. She hung up the phone and decided to call the BBB before giving out any personal information.

Walmart does award gift cards if you take part in a customer service survey found on your receipt. But a Walmart spokesperson says the company tells consumers they've won through certified mail and a phone call. Walmart will never ask for your personal or banking information.

These text messaging scams are getting more and more popular. It’s called “shmishing,” scams by short message services (SMS), or text. BBB advises consumers to be wary of random message sent to your phone, especially anything to do with finances. BBB suggests if you receive a message like this, do not reply to it, don’t call the number in the text, and don’t click on any hyperlinks. DELETE the message! Also, report the message to the FCC, the FTC, and the BBB. If you are still concerned over the text message, contact the company direct. Don’t rely on the text message. And, if you have to pay for text messaging, contact your provider as soon as possible to dispute the charge.

For more information on consumer tips and scams, go to www.bbb.org or call 1-800-388-2222.