Don't Get Sucked Into 'Free $1,000 Gift Card' Scam

Monday December 10, 2012

By Torrey Kim

What better way to entice unsuspecting victims into a scam than to promise them that they've won a free gift card. Unfortunately, if you get a text announcing that you're the beneficiary of a free $1,000 gift card from Best Buy, Target, or another retailer, you could just be getting "smished."

I received just such a text from a scammer purporting to be from Target, and even though I wouldn't consider myself a sucker, the fact is that I almost clicked the link. Had I entered a contest at Target? No. Did I wonder why I had to click a link that didn't appear to be affiliated with the "real" Target? Yes. But I still considered clicking it. This is how the "smishers" (short for "SMS phishers") reel in their potential victims. As my finger hovered over that clickable link, I had second thoughts, and avoided being another victim in this growing scam.

Check out these three quick steps to take to ensure that you aren't having to undo any damage from releasing your personal information, and let us know if you were successful in avoiding these scams.

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