BBB Warns of Text Message Promising $1,000 Gift Card

November 19, 2012

The Better Business Bureau (BBB) serving Nebraska, South Dakota, the Kansas Plains and Southwest Iowa is warning about huge numbers of consumers throughout our BBB’s service area and the entire country who are receiving “phishing” text messages on their cell phones promising a free gift card.

The message in one of these texts received by BBB yesterday reads: “Attn: Ne. Target shopper your entry won! Go to and enter code XXXX to claim your $1000 Target gift card now!” This link took the person to numerous pages asking for personal information in order to continue.

"At the beginning, in the fine print, it states that a consumer must fill out everything on each page in order to receive the gift card, and the offer “ not affiliated with, sponsored by or endorsed by any of the listed products or retailers”.

After completing the entire process, a call was received requesting $4.95 and a credit or debit card number to get two $100 gift vouchers to Target, Walmart, Home Depot or Best Buy. There was no mention of the original offer for a $1,000 Target gift card, and the BBB cannot verify that anyone has ever received a free gift card from these offers.

“Consumers responding to these kinds of deals may unknowingly be registering for products that they would have to pay for. Also, you are giving out personal information to an unknown party that could sell it to others or use it to steal your identity,” stated BBB President and CEO Jim Hegarty.

The BBB advises people to be extremely cautious when responding to unsolicited text messages.

For information on the latest scams or for a Business Review visit or call toll-free 800-649-6814.