Smishing… What is that?
“Smishing” is the latest scam. Instead of getting an e-mail, you get a text message. The word is a combination of “SMS,” for short message service, also known as text messaging, and “phishing.” In the text message you’re instructed to call a toll-free number, which is answered by a bogus interactive voice-response system that tries to fool you into providing your account number and password. Whatever you do, do not do this!
A few days ago Walmart released this statement onto their website for their customers saying, “In the last few days there has been a sudden increase in scam text messages referring people to a site where they can “claim a Walmart Gift Card” by entering certain private personal information.”
They also said, “These attacks that take place through SMS Text message technologies to personal mobile phones are scams and are in no way sponsored by or affiliated with Walmart. Similar to the way scam web sites send “Phishing” emails, scam artists have been sending text messages offering free Walmart gift cards to consumers in exchange for entering information on a mobile website. The most popular website being used recently is called “walmartgift.mobi”. This site is not owned, operated by, or affiliated with Walmart. Any site can be used for this scam and users are often asked for private personal information including credit card numbers or social security numbers. Providing this type of information is very likely to lead to identity theft or credit card fraud.”
Lastly, these text messages and the sites being used are not from Walmart, and Walmart is not associated with parties promoting this activity. Walmart has said they will never initiate a text message where we ask for sensitive personal data like credit card information or social security numbers.
Scambook users are among the many that have been receiving these smishing texts. We have received over 1000 consumer complaints about this scam, click here to read what Scambook users have been saying.
A great way to prevent this is to not respond when you receive a text about an account, first verify the number to see if it is legitimate. You can input the number into Google to verify if it belongs to your financial institution. The best solution would be to call your customer service number which you can locate on the back of your ATM card or on their website.
UPDATE: We now have updated information on the Walmart gift card scam, click here to view the updated post.