Postcard Scam Using Wal-Mart & Target’s Name

  
     
A postcard scam offering false winnings to recipients surfaced recently in Shubuta, MS . The scam, one that surfaces every few months in a different areas of the country, offers $100-worth of “Gift Savings” to either Walmart or Target.
June 04, 2014

All a consumer is asked to do is provide a credit or debit card number and pay $3.99 in order to claim the prize. Sounds good, right?  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.

 

Several Shubuta residents have contacted BBB about receiving a postcards directing them to call the phone number provided, then read the given claim number on the postcard to receive their “winnings”. A Better Business Bureau investigator got creative and provided the representative a combination mix of the claim numbers and still won. But when the investigator started asking too many questions like a company name and business address, unsurprisingly the scammer declined to provide any information.

Falling victim to this scam can result in more than just one unauthorized credit card charge. Significant financial loss and identity theft of varying degrees are also be very real possibilities with a scam like this, depending on how much information is given or the lengths a scammer is willing to go.

This savvy consumer was able to thwart a potential charge on his/her credit card by being aware of the signs of a scam, but others might not be aware of those signs.

BBB offers some tips for avoiding this type of scam:

1.  Do not provide personal information to claim ‘prizes’ or to sign up for free trials        from unfamiliar services.

2.  Never pay to get something that’s “free”. A true sweepstakes will not make its   winner pay fees.

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

4.  If a company name is provided, go to bbb.org/mississippi or call your local BBB serving Mississippi office at 601-398-1700 or 800-987-82800 to check out the business before moving forward.

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