Scambook Warns Consumers On New Target Contests Scam

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Scambook, the leading online complaint resolution platform is now warning consumers about a new text message gift card scheme, TargetContests.com.

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Scambook members have reported 149 complaints about TargetContests.com. But more than 100 of those complaints arrived overnight between November 12 and 13. We rarely see a single complaint subject get so much activity in such a short time period.

Scambook, the leading online complaint resolution platform is now warning consumers about a new text message gift card scheme, TargetContests.com. The text message says, “Your entry last month WON! Go to TargetContests.com enter winning code 3847 to claim your FREE $1000.00 Target gift card within 24hrs.”

Scambook received their first complaint about this gift card text message on November 8, 2012, but this text spam (aka smishing) scheme has exploded on Scambook within the past five days. It is a new twist on the same mobile fraud where spammers select thousands of cell phone numbers, usually via randomizing computer software, then blast a text message promoting the $1000 gift card prize. They use stores where most people shop, like Target and Walmart, then create websites that mimic the real company's brand.

“Walmart $1000 Gift Card, BestBuyWin.net, BestBuyContests.com and now TargetContests.com. We anticipate that the numbers will continue to grow exponentially,” said Kase Chong, Scambook's Director of Marketing. “Scambook members have reported 149 complaints about TargetContests.com. But more than 100 of those complaints arrived overnight between November 12 and 13. We rarely see a single complaint subject get so much activity in such a short time period.”

Scambook compared their TargetContests.com data to the statistics they have been collecting about Best Buy gift card smishing (BestBuyWin.net, BestBuyContests.com, etc). The earliest numbers for the Best Buy scheme were very close to what Scambook was seeing for TargetContests.com. That means over 100,000 cell phone users could be targeted by this phony text within the next three months. User reports about TargetContests.com are coming in from all over the US, but the attack seems to be concentrated on the coasts. As with the other smishing cases, Target is not affiliated with this scheme.

“If you receive a text for a free $1000 gift card prize at TargetContests.com, ignore it and contact your service provider to report the sender,” concluded Chong. “ Your cell phone company may also be able to block unknown numbers for texting you and charging your account.”

About Scambook

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.

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Judy Dixon
PMBC Group
(310) 777-7546
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