Text scam offers free Target gift card - DC News FOX 5 DC WTTG

FOX 5 I-Team investigates

Text scam offers free Target gift card

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A gift card scam text is going around that tries to lure you in with a very inviting offer – it's basically an offer of free money. The text appears to come from the well-respected company Target, but it doesn't.

One FOX 5 viewer got the text and called immediately.

"I thought I'd better call Channel 5 news and let them know so they can put the word out," said viewer Linda Honey. "It said, 'Congratulations.  You have won a $1000 gift card from Target."

Yes, a Target gift card for $1,000.

"I thought, wow.  My mind started turning over.  I was deciding how I was going to spend it, who I was going to give a little to," said Honey.

What a windfall, if it were the real deal.  Here is the actual text a FOX 5 co-worker received: "Congratulations, your entry in last months drawing won you a FREE Target giftcard. Enter '404' at www.target.com.tlsv.biz and tell us where to ship it!"

It was the same text Honey received.

Here's the first red flag:  It says your entry in last month's drawing got you this winning text.  Chances are you didn't enter a contest.  That's when Linda Honey first soured on this sweet, would-be prize.

"I thought, Wait a minute.  It might not be true," said Honey.

She did the smart thing, and called Target to check it out.  The retail giant told her just what they told the I-Team:  The retailer is not in any way affiliated with the text.  And if you get it, do what Linda Honey did -- call Target customer service to verify it.

Here's a Facebook warning from someone else:  "I just got scammed. The web address to 'claim' my gift card was target.com, so I trusted it."

It looks real, but it's not.  When you click the link you're then asked to give up personal information. Do what Honey did instead of falling for it, she deleted it because she quickly figured out what's at stake.

"Probably lose money, their identity, peace of mind," said Honey.

The spam text is also circulating with other big-name companies attached to it. Just delete it if you receive it.  Target has a newsletter with some other great information concerning this scam. You can read it by clicking here.

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