BBB Warns of Walmart Text Message Scam


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The Better Business Bureau has warned of a new scam regarding cellular text messages which offer a potential $1,000 Walmart gift card. Uninformed recipients are then taken to a website which prompts the entry of personal information, after they click on a link embedded in the message text. The BBB is fielding complaint all across the U.S. concerning the texts.

This sort of scam is called "smishing," basically the SMS version of phishing. Phishing involves obtaining user information by tricking them into thinking they're submitting it to a reputable source.

Walmart released a statement on the matter, explaining that the texts are not from them, and Gary Almond, president of the Better Business Bureau of Northeast California states that, "smartphones are very convenient but consumers should be careful about using them - When you use a device for everything from banking to personal photo albums, the last thing you want is someone gaining access to the phone.”

The BBB offers advice on how to avouid being taken in by fake texts:

Don’t click on links in texts from senders you don’t recognize
Never give out sensitive information, such as Social Security or bank account numbers.
Don’t pay for anything that’s supposed to be free
Check your credit reports regularly, including those of your kids
Report scams to the Better Business Bureau at 916-443-6843

In related news, Facebook has recently received an open letter demanding an upgrade to its reporting tool, after a rash of "sick baby scams" appeared on the site.