For most of us, spending an obscene amount of money at Target comes easy. It’s one of those stores where you can’t just stop in for one thing—instead, we end up becoming the proud owner of aisle seven after swearing we were only getting milk. As a result, it’s safe to say that Target gift cards are quite possibly one of our favorite gifts to receive. However, thanks to a recent scam on Facebook, not all Target gift card offers can be trusted.
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As Good Housekeeping points out, there’s a hoax circulating the internet in which a friend appears to be alerting others of an easy way to snag a free Target gift card: Simply send a text message to a specific number and the gift card will be sent to you.
Unfortunately, this tip can do some serious damage to those who follow through with it. According to IDTheftinfo.org, a website by the Consumer Federation of America, this is a “smishing” scam. For those unaware of what that means, it’s simply a phishing scam in which a hacker sends a link over text message that entices you to share credit card information or social security numbers, leading to possible identity theft. Also, clicking the link may allow bots access to your personal Facebook page, letting them scam your followers in the same way you were.
Interestingly enough, Target already has an entire section on its website dedicated to helping customers avoid gift card fraud like this. “Don’t click on or respond to online ads or websites offering free gift cards. These are often scams,” the website reads. Ultimately, the lesson here is to always be careful with your personal information. It’s never a good idea to send credit card details or social security numbers online to anyone claiming to send you free perks because sadly, it’s just not that simple to win gift cards on the internet.
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