Once again, scammers have used the BBB name to lure consumers into giving their personal information. This time, they are combining that with the fake $1,000 gift card offer that has circulated via text message using company names such as Wal-Mart, Target and Best Buy.
The good news is that BBB’s phishing experts have determined that this scam is not likely to infect your computer with a virus or steal your Social Security number, banking or credit card information. Instead, the experts said, it’s likely just a ploy to get your contact information, which the scammer will then sell to marketing companies.
Here’s a sample of the text:
On behalf of Better Business Bureau you have been issued a $1,000 Visa Gift Card free of charge.
Card type: Visa Gift Card
Issued to: XXX
Issuing branch: Amarillo, Texas
Valid until: 08/2015
Please use the following website to claim your card and have it shipped to the address of your choosing:
Go to: http://www.reward2012.com
Note that claims must be made within 48 hours from this email being sent, or the above link will become invalid.
Employee Benefits Center, LLC
BBB offers the following advice for approaching any suspicious email:
- Never reply to an email that is asking you for personal information. Even if the email appears to be from a trusted source, this may be a phishing attack, where someone is trying to illegitimately obtain your personal or financial information. Delete the email immediately.
- Do not click on any links from sources that you are unfamiliar with. This may be a phishing attack, where someone is trying to redirect you to a website that may automatically trigger malicious code and infect your computer. If you really want to check out a link sent to you by email, research the company or individual first to confirm they are trustworthy. If so, then manually retype the link into a secure web browser.
- Keep anti-spyware, anti-virus and anti-spam software up to date. While consumers are ultimately responsible for keeping personal and financial information private, these technologies are designed to help keep phishing attacks at a minimum.