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A Warning About 'Smishing' Scams

Have you received any weird text messages lately?

 

Editor's Note: Korrina Grom is editor of Lake Zurich Patch.

 

I was sitting at my desk today, working, when I received a strange text message on my personal cell phone.

Your entry last month has WON!! Goto (URL) and enter your winning code to claim your free $1,000 BestBuy Gift Card.

I knew this was obviously a scam. I hadn't entered any contests. So I decided to look up some information online, and here is what I found on the Better Business Bureau website: a warning about gift card scams using the Best Buy and Wal-mart names.

Steve J. Bernas, president and CEO of the Better Business Bureau of Chicago and Northern Illinois, said on the site that the offer is not legitimate, nor is it promoted by Best Buy or Walmart.

The Better Business Bureau called this a "smishing" scam, or the "practice of sending a phishing message to steal credit card or identity information via cell phone text messaging."

The Better Business Bureau offered these tips on its website:

  • Don't email or text personal and financial information.
  • Review your credit card and bank statements to make sure there are no unauthorized charges.
Pat Lyon April 29, 2012 at 02:29 PM
Also carefully check your phone bill for questionable or unsolicitied charges from texted telemarketers. When they text you and tell you to text "STOP" back to presumedly have you taken off their list, they can (and have) automatically charge your phone bill. I got hit with over $100 of charges from these thieves. If you see charges like these, call your service provider and put blocking on your number.

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