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No,You Did NOT Win a Target or Best Buy Gift Card

by on July 18, 2012

As if managing all your bills and financial accounts isn’t enough work, you also have to be alert of fraudulent scams and various forms of identity theft. In a recent ploy to get people’s personal data, millions of people with a cell phone nationwide have fallen victim to suspicious text messages that claim to be from Target or Best Buy. The texts tell consumers they “won” a drawing for free gift card…all you have to do is click a link and enter their address and phone number.

According to an email from the Better Business Bureau, this gift card contest is fake. The text message scam is just another way to collect people’s private information by a third party advertiser/marketing firm and in return sold to companies to generate sales leads.

The text messages vary, but all contain an offer of a gift card, a URL to visit and a PIN to enter on the website. A typical example is below:

“Your entry in our drawing WON you a free $1,000 Target gift card! Enter “917” at to claim it and we can ship it to you immediately”

The text’s URL leads to a website that is branded with Target’s colors and its mascot dog Bullseye. You are asked to enter the PIN and an email address. Then, you are taken to a form and instructed to fill out your name, cell number and mailing address.

One recipient reported completing the form and receiving a second PIN in return. The confirmation message instructed her to wait for a follow-up text and enter that new PIN at the website address she received. The text turned out to be promoting a horoscope website, and no mention was made of the Target gift card.

For more information about this scam and others, visit the’s complete scam directory for more information about breaking scams in your area.

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