Many scams are now coming to people via text messages on their smartphones. One of the latest involves a text message that informs you that you have won a gift card. Variations of the scam have involved phony gift cards from Target, Best Buy, Apple and WalMart although you should be alert if you receive a text message that informs you of winning a gift card from any company. The text message contains a link that you must click on which is supposed to take you to a website where you must fill out a form with personal information in order to have the gift card processed and sent to you. Don’t do it. You won’t receive a gift card, but you will provide information to a scammer that will enable him or her to make you a victim of identity theft if you click on the link and provide the requested information.
It is important to remember that it is hard enough to win a contest that you have entered. It is impossible to win a contest that you have not even entered. Never click on links in emails regardless of from whom they come unless you are sure they are legitimate. Getting an email or text message that purports to be from a legitimate company does not mean that the message or email is indeed from the company. It could be from a scammer. Never provide personal information to anyone on line unless it is absolutely necessary and you are convinced that it is legitimate. In this case, contact by phone at a number that you know is accurate the company awarding the contest prize for the contest you did not enter and confirm that it is a scam.