Gift Card Scam
You may have received SMS or email message congratulating you on winning a Gift Card (using a big brand like Best Buy, Walmart etc.)
The scam has been around for a while and usually tries to accomplish one of the following:
- Capture your personal information. Basic phishing scam where it collects your Credit card, DOB (Date of Birth), Telephone Number, Address and Mother's maiden name. This information is often enough to open up fake accounts under your name.
- Get you to buy several "Promotional Offers" in exchange for the Gift Card. These offers often end up costing more than the sum of the Gift Card. You may also get signed up to a rebill program where your credit card gets charged every month (charges sometimes last years). Sometimes the site will force you to refer your friends to these offers as well.
- Force you to complete a survey. The person to whom the scam offer site belongs will get paid for every survey that you fill up.
- Use the page as a "lead generator". Usually there is a disclaimer telling you that you will be contacted by several advertisers with more deals. Usually it will mean a large amount of unwanted telephone calls. Once again the owner of the fake Gift Card site will get paid for every new phone number they manage to add to these telemarketing lists.
- Install malware on your computer when you try to access the site.
Please remember that doing any of the above steps does not guarantee that you will receive the card. After examining many examples of free Gift Card sites we're yet to see a single site which actually sends out the cards.
The scam which hides behind this lucrative offer may change, but the outcome is always the same. Respond to these offers and you will end up putting money in someone elses pocket and never see the promised Gift Card.
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