• Indiana attorney general warns of ‘free gift card’ text scams

    May 03, 2012 No comments

    If you’ve been receiving unwanted texts claiming you’ve received a free Walmart gift card or a new Apple iPad, there’s something you can do about it.

    Indiana Attorney General Greg Zoeller warns consumers to not respond to the text messages. Instead, you’re urged to register for the state’s “do not call” list. That will block most telemarketer calls and text messages.

    Zoeller says his office has had 76 complaints about text messages claiming to be from Walmart. One example of the messages reads, “You have been selected for a FREE $1,000 Walmart gift card!” The text message then gives a code and a website.

    Consumers who follow the message are asked to enter personal information which could lead to additional unwanted solicitations, or even worse, to identity theft or credit card fraud. Replying to remove your number may only confirm the phone number is working and can lead to additional texts.

    Walmart stores issued a consumer alert on the scam and said these text messages and the sites being used are not from Walmart and the store is not associated with parties promoting this activity. Walmart said it will never initiate a text message where they ask for sensitive personal data like credit card information or Social Security numbers.

    This year the office has received 61 complaints regarding scam text messages claiming to be from Apple offering free iPhones or iPads. Consumers have also reported receiving fake Best Buy gift card offers.

    Zoeller said to protect yourself do not respond to spam text messages or click on any links. Consumers can report and block spam text messages through their wireless service providers.

    Register your number for Indiana’s Do Not Call list. The next quarterly deadline is May 15. If you sign up by that date, your number will be placed on the list by July 1. You can register your residential landline, cell, VOIP or prepaid wireless numbers. You can also call 1.888.834.9969.

    If you receive an unwanted text message and you are on the state’s Do Not Call list you can file a complaint here.

    Posted by in Local News

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