Better Business Bureau of Minnesota and North Dakota ® (BBB) is warning area consumers to watch out for a scam involving a postcard purportedly alerting recipients to ‘an unclaimed reward of $100 in gift savings good at Walmart or Target.’ The mail piece does not have a return address but directs people to call 844-633-9988 to claim their supposed prizes. BBB is advising the public to either shred these mailings or report them to the FTC (877-382-4357), your local post office or both.
“We’ve all heard the saying about never looking a gift horse in the mouth,” said Dana Badgerow, president and CEO of Better business Bureau of Minnesota and North Dakota. “However, we believe this ‘offer’ has more to do with the other end of the horse in question.”
This bogus offer was brought to BBB’s attention by the Minnesota Department of Public Safety. Variations of this particular scam have popped up sporadically nationwide for the last few years. Some notifications have been delivered via text message and others through email. People may also receive phone calls claiming they’re the recipient of such prizes. In every case like this to date, Target and Walmart headquarters have stated these postcards/communiqués were not issued by them.
A Better Business Bureau employee called the number on the postcard and tried to claim a prize. The representative – who claimed to represent a company called Care Express – had a heavy foreign accent and stated that a ‘one-time shipping/activation fee of $3.95’ would need to be paid via credit card to receive the alleged gift savings. At that point, the BBB employee disconnected the call. During the call, the company representative also refused to provide his location.
“So you have an unknown entity asking people to provide their credit card information for a nebulous offer which may not exist - or likely has little or no value, if it does,” added Badgerow. “It would be an understatement to say we’ve heard better offers.”
Better Business Bureau reminds consumers to:
If you’ve already provided your credit card number to the individuals behind this offer, contact your card issuer or financial institution immediately – as well as your local authorities – and monitor your statements closely.