Another financial scam is making the rounds. This one involves Walmart. And it’s happening just in time for the holidays. Here’s the con: Some no-good thieves are calling people on the phone and saying: “You’ve won a $200 Walmart gift card!” To collect your gift card, they say, you just have to pay $1 for shipping and handling, and the gift card will be sent to you. Needless to say, this is totally bogus. Anytime a stranger calls you on the phone claiming you’ve “won” something, and then asks for your credit card – or any personal information – red flags should start going off in your head and you should literally be able to hear sirens and alarm bell whistles. The old “give me your credit card number” scheme is classic con artistry at its best — or should I say worst? This is just another form of identity theft.
Thanks to Dan, from South Carolina, a subscriber to my free newsletter (http://www.TheMoneyCoach.net) for alerting me about this scam occurring a lot down in Columbia, SC. He says the scam has been so prevalent there that it was recently reported on WIS-TV in Columbia. I know times are tight and a lot of people are broke. So the idea of “winning” a gift card from Walmart (one of my favorite places to shop!) is definitely appealing. But let’s remember the old adage: If something sounds too good to be true, it probably is.
I predict that this scam will increase in popularity as we progress into the holiday season. It can (and will) likely involve any popular retailer that has gift cards – Target, Macy’s, Sears, The Gap, Home Depot, etc. One final word: I couldn’t find a reference to the story from WIS-TV. (I’ve asked Dan to forward me a link or more info). But I did find a lot of complaints about this scam on 800Notes.com. Here’s a link for more details. http://800notes.com/Phone.aspx/1-877-469-7415