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Gift Card Text Scam Sweeps Through Colorado

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(credit: CBS)

(credit: CBS)

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LONGMONT, Colo (CBS4) Texts offing $1,000 gift cards may seem appealing, but officials warn they’re a scam.

Helen Williams of Longmont is among hundreds of thousands of Coloradans who’ve gotten a text offering a free $1,000 gift card to Target.

“There are a lot of people who are taken advantage of, and it’s just not right,” Williams told CBS4.

The text directs you to a Web site that asks you to fill in your name, mailing address, and phone number. The URL for the Web site makes you think it’s from target.com, but it’s actually from ppdf.biz. On whois.net, an IP address search Web site, shows that domain was set up in July 1st and is located in Panama.

text scams 1 Gift Card Text Scam Sweeps Through Colorado

(credit: CBS)

Target confirms that the text messages do not come from their corporation and that this is a scam.

“These guys can be found. I don’t believe they can’t be found,” Williams said.

The Attorney General’s Office encourages people to file a complaint when they get one of these texting scams. The more complaints logged on a single issue, the more likely the AG’s investigators are to go after the perpetrators.

As far as ending the text messages to your phone, that is more difficult. Phone number data bases are very valuable on the black market. When you’re phone number is on one of those lists, it’s very hard to get it off there. Registering with the Colorado No Call List and the National Do Not Call Registry is a step in the right direction. Also, you should be very careful what kinds of surveys and sweepstakes forms you fill out, often times that information is turned into marketing lists and sold.

“I’d like them put out in the town square and everybody that’s been scammed gets a little switch and get sot whack them,” Williams said.

Other known promotions by this same company include texts messages about Best Buy, Disney, the iPad 2, iPhone 5, Starbucks, Subway, Victoria’s Secret and Walmart. If you get one of these texts, you should file a complaint with the Colorado Attorney General’s Office and then delete it.
RELATED: More Reports By 4 On Your Side Consumer Investigator Jodi Brooks

- Written for the Web by CBS4 Special Projects Producer Libby Smith

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