They are receiving text messages from different telephone numbers, but are all being directed to a handful of websites like BestBuyWin.net in an effort to solicit their personal information.
Los Angeles, CA (PRWEB) November 09, 2012
Scambook, the leading online complaint resolution platform, is warning consumers to be aware of an aggressive text message spam campaign. Based on complaints received from members of its online community, Scambook reports that victims receive a text stating that they have won a free $1000 Best Buy gift card on BestBuyWin.net or BestBuyContest.com Scambook anticipates that over 100,000 additional mobile users will receive these texts by mid-November in an attack wave that corresponds to the peak holiday shopping season. Damages associated with SMS fees and unwanted subscription costs could exceed $40,000.
“Members of our community alerted us to this fraud,” said Kase Chong, Scambook’s Director of Marketing. “They are receiving text messages from different telephone numbers, but are all being directed to a handful of websites like BestBuyWin.net in an effort to solicit their personal information. The sites themselves are confusing as they have appropriated the Best Buy logo and colors.”
Based on hundreds of complaint submissions and over 150,000 page views since January, Scambook identified this fraudulent gift card text as one of the top trends in smishing (from SMS and phishing). In fact, “BestBuyWin.net” was the site’s number one search term in September. The company found that these text messages hit consumers in a wave that lasts about three months, separated by approximately one month of low or zero activity.
Scambook believes we are currently in a wave that began in late September, and estimates that over 84,000 consumers have received these text messages so far, with the number of recipients expected to continue climbing. Peak activity is anticipated in mid-November before gradually declining in December. They estimate that an additional 100,000 cell phone users may be affected by this smishing scheme before the current wave ends.
Although it is difficult to stop this type of fraudulent activity, consumers should not respond to the text or complete any of the “special offers” on BestBuyWin.net. They can contact their cell phone service provider and report the incident on Scambook to help protect others. “This is strictly a third-party rewards program site that does not have any affiliation with Best Buy,” concluded Chong. “To redeem their ‘free prize,’ a consumer would have to sign up for thirteen separate special offers and recruit three friends to do the same, handing over personal information to these spammers in the process. Awareness really is the best defense.” Chong promises that the Scambook blog will keep tracking this smishing attack and update consumers when more information is available. Scambook is currently in contact with Best Buy and working on a plan to help protect consumers.
Scambook is an online complaint resolution platform dedicated to obtaining justice for victims of fraud with unprecedented speed and accuracy. By building communities and providing resources on the latest scams, Scambook arms consumers with the up-to-date information needed to stay on top of emerging schemes. Since its inception, Scambook has resolved over $3 million in reported consumer damages. For more information, visit scambook.com.