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Gift certificate scams now going by text

Posted 01-25-2013 at 00:02 by emmascott

No matter what, if there is money involved a con is not far behind. There is a brand new fraud going around, this one promising a huge gift card to a serious store and it's going around by text. Mainly it's a phishing con, but it's one of the more innocent of gift certificate frauds. Resource for this article:

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Gift certificate con at Target

The thing about scam artists is that it's a pity they're crooks. If one takes a cursory look at the myriad tricks that crooks use to dupe people out of cash, it becomes sort of ironically clear that if they were to put that creativity to use for legitimate purposes, they'd probably get as rich as Croesus, legally and above board.

That will never happen

Daily Finance reports that there is a new gift certificate con going around right now. In fact, the text message gift card con is most likely a good one. It offers gift cards for companies such as Walmart, Best Purchase and Target through text messages. Occasionally, the amount is as much as $1,000 in gift cards.

Website requires code and phone number

The text message is sent promising up to $1,000 or more on a gift certificate to the consumer if they go to a website and enter in the code. The phone number would be needed too. It is an SMS phishing fraud.

What they actually get is their personal information taken and sold to black hat marketers in the form of a marketing list. If an individual is lucky, they'll just get a rash of emails promising every little thing from cheap cruises to “Viagra” - one would make fun of spammers not being able to spell but then again our country's schools can't teach the difference between “they're” and “their” - and the curious submissions from “”

There are at least two attorneys that have filed lawsuits about the texts, and some of those may end up being class-action, according to Daily Finance. The website is going to deal with the fight, according to NBC Low Angeles. This problem is that it may also lead to identity theft. Over 300,000 people received messages for the frauds from the website.

Better fraud than many

WBAY reported that there have been many scams much worse than this one. This involves ones where fraudsters use charge card numbers to purchase a bunch of gift cards. Then, the money is transferred to a prepaid debit card, and the cash is taken out. This is a much worse con than the texting frauds.

That fraud really happened at a Walmart where more than $80,000 in cash was stolen, according to MLive. Cashier Erica Shontae Walker is waiting for her punishment as an accomplice to the crime.

A 2011 Fox Business article showed that there was another way for criminals. They would write down gift certificate numbers and wait until it was acquired. Then, they would spend all the cash online.


Daily Finance

NBC Los Angeles

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