Text Message Scam Hits The Borderland


POSTED: Friday, March 9, 2012 - 9:14pm

UPDATED: Friday, March 9, 2012 - 10:12pm

There is a text message scam hitting The Borderland.
Several hundred El Pasoans have told us that they've received text messages that seemed too good to be true.
People are talking about this on our Facebook page in huge numbers.
It all started when a woman named Sarah Cera called our newsroom to say that she got a fraudulent text message saying she won a gift card to a popular store.

"I said $1,000 to Walmart? Great. I was already thinking how I was going to spend my $1,000,” said Cera.
Cera says that Thursday morning she received te text message saying she won a $1,000 gift certificate. At first, she thought it was the real deal because she has filled out customer surveys for the popular chain.

"Then, something came to my mind and said you know what, this is not true. They are asking me stuff that they wouldn't ask. A normal survey or retail store wouldn't ask your social security on the internet,” said Cera.

Many of you told us on our Facebook page that you also received these types of text messages within the past couple of days. The Better Business Bureau says that scammers are no stranger to new technology.

"Well scammers everyday are finding new ways to get a hold of people to scam. Before it used to be maybe more door-to-door, but now that technology is more advanced, it's happening more in text,” said BBB spokesperson Annabelle Estrada.
Walmart tells us that it doesn't send gift certificate notices by text, and the message Sara received was a scam.

We called many of the numbers the text messages came from, but all of the calls were answered by an automated message saying the call can’t go through.
Cera says that it's a shame criminals take advantage of innocent people.

"I was very upset and disappointed because you know you fill out the surveys thinking you are going to win something, but then there's people out there that are just looking for ways to scam people,” said Cera.

Thankfully, Cera didn't give away any personal information to the scammers.
The BBB is repeating an old warning that if anything sounds too good to be true, it usually is.


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