DENVER (CBS4)– A text message offering a $1,000 Walmart gift card is hitting cellphones across the Denver metro area. Walmart says it’s a scam and they’re not behind it.
The text could come to your e-mail or cellphone. It offers a $1,000 gift card. It directs you to a website where you’re asked to enter your name, e-mail and cell phone number. It’s all a scam.
Walmart spokeswoman, Ashley Hardie, gave us this statement:
“We are very unhappy to learn that there is a scam intending to defraud our customers and we encourage them to contact the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) or their state’s attorney general’s office. Walmart doesn’t participate in these types of promotions and has no affiliation with them. We don’t participate in any type of promotion that would ask for certain personal or financial information.”
4 On Your Side Consumer Investigator Jodi Brooks found that this text scam is sweeping through the Denver Metro Area. She found 5 cellphones that got the text just in the newsroom, and 45 people on Facebook responded that they or someone they knew had gotten the text.
It’s not clear how the scammers are getting cellphone numbers. There are databases of phone numbers available and they’re very valuable on the black market.
According to the Colorado Attorney General’s office, it’s hard to get off these lists. You can put your name on the Colorado No Call list and the National No Call list which should help cut down on the number of unsolicited calls you get.
If you get one of these texts, you can file a complaint on the Colorado Attorney General’s Web site. The more complaints they get the more likely they are to have an investigator go after the scammers.
Walmart does offer an opportunity for customers to get a $1,000 gift card. The offer is the result of filling out a customer service survey online. The survey does require a transaction number that comes off your receipt from the store, but it doesn’t ask for personal or financial information. If you win the gift card, Walmart will notify you by certified mail.
– Written for the Web by CBS4 Special Projects Producer Libby Smith