200 target gift card

Any Target lover would jump at the chance to get a free gift card, but a new scam making the rounds on the internet is proving that if something seems too good to be true, it likely is.

At first glance, the hoax looks like your friend is just alerting you to a good deal: send a text to a certain number and you can claim a free Target gift card. Simple as that.

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In reality, it’s far from a friendly tip. IDTheftinfo.org, a website by the Consumer Federation of America, explains that this type of scam is know as “smishing.” It’s like a phishing scam, but the hacker will send you a link over text message rather than email. Once you click on the link, the scammer will bait you for information like you credit card information or your social security number. On top of that, Snopes says clicking the link may also compromise your Facebook account, meaning that bots can keep sharing the scam to your followers, without you even knowing.

The hoax isn’t anything new. In fact, a few years back, a nearly identical scam promised free $100 gift cards to Walmart shoppers who clicked a link that was shared on social media. At the time, Walmart told consumers that they should never reply to an email, phone call, or text messages that threaten you, require you to click an external link to provide more information, or asks for personal or account information directly in the email.

The Good Housekeeeping Institute agrees, saying you should always be wary before you click on any links or enter any personal information online. They recommended taking the following precautions to avoid becoming a victim.

1. Be wary of links sent from an unknown number. You should never click on a link sent to you through text if you don’t recognize the number.

2. Keep an eye out for bad grammar or any typos. These are often a direct giveaway that it’s a scam. Legit businesses proofread their official communications, even text messages.

3. Be careful with your personal info. Always be conservative with the information you provide to any website, and make sure that you’re entering it through the retailer’s website directly instead of a link from an email or text message.

4. When in doubt, contact the company directly. A customer service representative should be able to verify if the text message is real.

If you do find yourself in a place where you have accidentally entered personal information, it’s extremely important that you monitor your bank transactions and change your passwords immediately.

Goodhousekeeping.com has reached out to Target for comment and will update this post as more information becomes available.

Lindsey Murray Trends & Reviews Editor Lindsey works with the Good Housekeeping Institute to test and review products like appliances, bedding, baby items, and more

Recently our agency received a question from a Georgia consumer about whether the text message she had received claiming she’d won a Walmart gift card was legitimate or not. The fact is, it is highly unlikely that this kind of text message is legitimate.

Scams involving purported “free” gift cards have been reported throughout the country. In March, the Better Business Bureau reported a scam in which many people received text messages promising “free” Walmart and Best Buy gift cards. One such message read, “Walmart $1,000 gift card for the first 1000 users to go to and enter code 2938.” Another said, “You have been randomly selected for a Best Buy gift. Get your $1,000 gift card at .” Neither of these offers panned out.
This type of scam is known as “smishing”, a type of “phishing” scam where the scammer sends you a text message, instead of an e-mail. If you click on the link in the text message, you’ll be required to provide personal information such as your credit card number or social security number before you can claim any gift card. The scammers then use this information to steal your identity.
If the link provided in any text (or e-mail) message doesn’t lead you directly to a page on the company’s main website, it’s more likely than not that the offer is a scam. The most popular website being used in this particular smishing scam, for example, is www.walmartgift.mobi (rather than the store’s actual site, which is www.walmartstores.com).
Walmart does give away legitimate gift cards to the winners of drawings for receipt surveys, and these drawings take place four times per year. However, the winners of these gift cards are always notified by certified mail, not via email or text message.
Walmart, along with most other major reliable retailers, will never send you a text, telephone, or e-mail message asking for your personal information.
Consumers should not respond to any messages that ask for this kind of personal information. Also, you should never click on any links provided in the message. The scammers who send these messages are just trying to get your personal information. Walmart’s current policy is that it never asks consumers, either online or in e-mails, to complete online surveys in order to receive a gift card. And Walmart will not send you any e-mails or surveys that require you to make a purchase or pay money as a condition for participating.
Consumers receiving this type of text message should report it by forwarding the text message to 7726 (“S-P-A-M”). You can also report it to your state consumer protection agency and to the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) at www.ftc.gov or by calling 1-877-FTC-HELP.

In November 2018, a scam tempting Facebook users with Walmart Black Friday and Thanksgiving promotional coupon offers, for $50 off and 85% off, began circulating on social media:

These fake offers were just another variation of a long-running form of scam with a familiar pattern.

First, scammers set up look-alike websites and social media pages that mimic those of legitimate companies in order to promote scams advertising free gift cards or coupons. Users who respond to those fake offers are required to share a website link or social media post in order to spread the scam more widely and lure in additional victims. Then those users are presented with a “survey” that extracts personal information such as email addresses, telephone numbers, dates of birth, and even sometimes credit card numbers. Finally, those who wish to claim their “free” gift cards or coupons eventually learn they must first sign up to purchase a number of costly goods, services, or subscriptions (negating the “free” aspect of the offer).

The Better Business Bureau offers three tips to identify similar gift card/coupon scams:

Don’t believe what you see. It’s easy to steal the colors, logos and header of an established organization. Scammers can also make links look like they lead to legitimate websites and emails appear to come from a different sender.

Legitimate businesses do not ask for credit card numbers or banking information on customer surveys. If they do ask for personal information, like an address or email, be sure there’s a link to their privacy policy.

Watch out for a reward that’s too good to be true. If the survey is real, you may be entered in a drawing to win a gift card or receive a small discount off your next purchase. Few businesses can afford to give away $50 gift cards for completing a few questions.

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“Free Web Promotions” – how does the scam work?

OK, where to begin. This could be legit, though the company is probably doing a bit of reaching by claiming you “won” anything.

Getting a phone call that has you complete a survey, for a free cruise on which you just have to pay port fees of about 60 bucks per person, is a real thing that really happens. Even the part where the caller comes back with the incredibly scammy sounding “You have to take the deal during this phone call or else you won’t get it (I think that part just comes about because the caller gets a commission if they are the one to complete the sale).

What is also common with these offers is a stipulation that you attend a timeshare seminar, which getting people to attend these seminars is part of how companies like Caribbean Cruise Lines make their money (Caribbean Cruise Lines is a wholesaler that just sells tickets, not the vessel nor the company that operates it).

People take these offers all the time, and they work out well all the time, some people think a 3 hour seminar is well worth a 3 day cruise.

I want to caution you, however, about verifying the company you are patronizing. There will always be scammers looking to make a quick buck, and phone numbers can be spoofed. That makes the whole “you must take this offer during this phone call’ thing all the more worrisome. Next time you receive such a call, without hanging up on them, Google the name and phone number of the business and, after making sure said company isn’t scammy in and of itself, call it from a different phone line to confirm you’re speaking to a real agent.

Fraud and scam alert

a) Business propositions
The business propositions pretending to be made on behalf of Shell Group companies come in different guises, but generally solicit the help of the recipients in transferring huge sums of money in foreign currency. The people initiating these propositions claim the sums involved are for instance entitlements in respect of deceased relations, or monies accruing from excess crude oil sales, or have been forgotten in some dormant account. Sometimes they also propose to award huge value contracts to the recipients of such mails.

b) Recruitment scams
The job offers come from organizations falsely pretending to recruit on behalf of Shell Group companies or by people claiming to work for, or be affiliated to, a Shell Group company. These propositions notify individuals that their qualifications were found suitable to work as an employee (local or expatriate) for a Shell Group company and solicit the transfer of significant sums of money to pay for work permits, insurance policies, etc.

Please note that Shell Group companies (nor any of the organisations that recruit on our behalf) never ask for any money or payments from applicants, at any point in the recruitment process. All individuals who are successful in gaining an offer of employment from a Shell Group company, whether directly or indirectly, are always required to go through a formal recruitment process. All communications should originate from a verifiable Shell e-mail address and not from an Internet e-mail address e.g.: hotmail, yahoo etc.

c) Prize awards and grants
The awards of prizes and monetary grants often come through via text messages and/or e-mails purporting to be from Shell London, UK, informing that the recipient has won in the Shell Petroleum International lottery promo and similar non existent competitions, and asking the customer to send money in order to receive the winnings.
Please note that Shell Group companies are NOT involved in any lottery or mobile draws, e-mail/sms (grant) awards.

What to do…

  • Do not respond to unsolicited business propositions and/or job offers from people or e-mail addresses you do not know or trust.
  • Do not disclose your personal or financial details to anyone you do not know or trust or on a website you do not trust. Should you have disclosed this information to somebody you do not know or trust or to a website you do not trust consider reporting the incident to your local law enforcement.
  • Be on the lookout for suspicious signs – e.g. communications from non-Shell e-mail addresses (e.g. from a yahoo.com address); poor use of English; and requests for money

Our position…

Shell’s name and identity is being used fraudulently in these instances. In as much as we sympathise with anyone who has lost money in this way, Shell Group companies cannot accept any responsibility.

“The federal government does not offer grants or ‘free money’ to individuals to start a business or cover personal expenses,” it said in a statement. “The government does offer federal benefit programs designed to help individuals and families in need become self-sufficient or lower their expenses.”

Nofziger says the scammers create fake profiles using photos of another person to develop friendships or relationships. “The one thing about the clones is that if you get a friend request from someone that you already thought was your friend, do your due diligence and find out why,” she says.

Lee communicated with her friend’s fake profile throughout the time she was being victimized. “It’s almost like they were sitting side by side,” she says. “One’s playing me on Messenger and the other is texting me.”

Lee’s first $950 loss was for a “tax clearance fee” that was to be “refunded immediately” once the money was delivered. She was warned to keep her grant news a secret until she got the money. “Don’t tell anyone at the store nor a friend so as not the alert the IRS.”

The currency the scammers wanted was not U.S. dollars, but iTunes gift cards. They told her that her friend had already paid with one.

Then the scammers asked her for a second fee, this time $350. That’s when Lee became suspicious. The scammers said that the van that was to deliver her grant money had been stopped by IRS officers and that the $350 would pay for an IRS certificate to ensure delivery to the “lawful owner.”

“This does not happen very often ma’am. I’m so sorry the UPS department does not add the IRS fee to their money because they turned it unnecessary. I know what may be going through your mind right now. But I assure you, after this payment to the IRS, your money will surely get to you,” they texted.

“I’m sorry, tapped out. No more money. You’re pulling my leg,” Lee replied.

“Trust me ma’am, we can’t cancel the delivery. You will be refunded,” the scammers messaged.

In total Lee lost $1,450, all of her emergency savings, which was a lot of money for a small-business owner out of work on disability leave.

HOW TO ENTER the $200 Target gift card giveaway:

There is one required entry – Sign up for Coupons & Freebies Mom & then fill out the form below! You must check your email account for a verification email & click the link in it!

***For additional entries, you can do any or all of the following. Be sure to fill out the entry form an additional time for each additional entry:

  • Visit Coupons and Freebies Mom on Facebook. We would love it if you “like” the page or comment on the page!
  • “Like” or SHARE this post
  • Follow Coupons and Freebies Mom on Twitter
  • Tweet this contest on Twitter, one time only please: Please RT this – #Win $200 #Target gift card http://bit.ly/9R6b6a @CouponsFreebie #giveaway #contest #free

You must be 18 years or older & have a valid USA mailing address to enter. The giveaway will end on 8/31/11 {EXTENDED DEADLINE!} at 8 pm Central Time. We will contact the winner via email & the winner will have 48 hours to respond to our email.

This giveaway is not sponsored by Tar get nor Plastic Jungle. It is sponsored solely by Coupons and Freebies Mom, LLC. Winner will receive $200 worth of e-gift cards

Target Black Friday 2019: Here Are The Best Deals [Updated]

Forbes and/or the author may earn a commission on sales made from links on this page.

11/30 Update: my Target Cyber Monday 2019 deals guide is live. This article is no longer updated

Target’s Black Friday 2019 doorbusters are here and the best deals are now live. This includes immediate savings on the iPhone 11 range, Galaxy S10, Note 10 and Pixel 4 line-ups as well as some outstanding TV deals. Tip: bookmark this article, it is updated daily

Target Black Friday 2019 Ad scan is here

Mike Mozart

Tip: watch out for further discounts of up to 5% on sales items for RedCard holders. It’s enough to turn many deals into star savings for Target members.

Target Black Friday Best Smartphone Deals

  • NEW STAR DEAL – iPhone 11 Pro Max, iPhone 11 Pro, or iPhone 11 – Up to $700 off a second device when you purchase a select iPhone device – shop deals now
  • NEW – Pixel 4 or Pixel 4 XL- $300 gift card with qualified activation on AT&T or Verizon (like top Black Friday Pixel 4 deal) – ;
  • iPhone XS Max or iPhone XS – $200 gift card with qualified activation on AT&T or Verizon – shop deal now (Walmart – $400/$450 gift card)
  • 11/26 DEAL RETURNS – Galaxy S10+, Galaxy S10, or Note 10+ – $400 gift card with qualified activation on AT&T or Verizon – shop deal now
  • FURTHER $200 REDUCTION – Galaxy Note 10 – save $400 gift card qualified activation on AT&T – shop deal now (Watch out for Costco’s $420 savings)
  • 27/11 NEW STAR DEAL – Verizon Google Pixel 3 (64GB) – $550 gift card in store with qualified activation – shop deal now

Target’s first Black Friday iPhone deals are live

Target Forbes Gordon Kelly

Target Black Friday PS4 Pro and Xbox One X deals are now live

Target

Target Black Friday Best Console Deals

Upcoming Doorbusters

  • PlayStation VR bundle with five games $199.99 (save $100) – (standard sales price, Kohl’s beats this) –

Tip: currently Target doesn’t have any Black Friday deals on the Nintendo Switch this year but, if you looking to buy one, be careful you don’t buy the wrong version.

Target Black Friday console deals are currently unimpressive

Target Forbes Gordon Kelly

Target Black Friday Best Tablet Deals

Target Black Friday Best Laptop Deals

Target Black Friday Best Headphones Deals

Black Friday AirPods deals at live at Target

Target

Tip: Amazon has a limited sale on the new Apple AirPods Pro – $234.99 (save $15) – shop deal now

Target Black Friday Best Smartwatch/ Smart Device Deals

Target Black Friday Best TV Deals

Target Black Friday TV deals are some of the best you will find anywhere

Target

Await specific model numbers before jumping on the doorbuster deals

I will be extensively tracking Black Friday and Cyber Monday 2019 deals and publishing the best offers daily, so be sure to bookmark my page.

Follow Gordon on Twitter and Facebook

More of my Black Friday Guides on Forbes

Amazon Black Friday 2019: Here Are The Best New Deals

Apple Black Friday 2019: Here Are The Best New Deals

Walmart Black Friday 2019: Here Are The Best New Deals

Black Friday shopping secrets: How to find the best deal on a new iPhone

Black Friday is consistently one of the best times to save money on an iPhone. The top doorbuster deals from retailers and cell phone carriers include new and past years’ models discounted by hundreds of dollars or bundled with bonus gift cards. Some deals come with caveats, however, such as specific network or plan requirements. Here’s what else to know before you shop for an iPhone.

Best Black Friday iPhone deals, 2019

  • Target: Get a $200 Target gift card with qualified activation of an iPhone 11 or iPhone Xs (various versions) with Verizon or AT&T. Deal starts on Black Friday at 7 a.m. and runs through Dec. 1.
  • Best Buy: Up to $500 off a new iPhone 11 or 11 Pro with qualified activation and trade-in through AT&T, Verizon or Sprint.
  • T-Mobile: Get a free iPhone 8 when you activate a new voice line and trade in a qualifying older iPhone.
  • Walmart: Get a $450 Walmart eGift when you buy a new iPhone XS and activate it on a purchase installment plan with AT&T, Sprint or Verizon. Gift cards also available for the iPhone XS Max or XR ($400) and the iPhone 11, 11 Pro and 11 Pro Max ($300). Earn up to $250 more on a separate eGift card when you trade in an eligible phone.

Best Black Friday iPhone deals, 2018

Last year, big-box stores offered some of the best discounts and deals on iPhones old and new. Highlights included:

  • Target shoppers could get a $250 Target gift card with iPhone XS or XS Max activation on Verizon, Sprint or AT&T networks.
  • Best Buy slashed iPhone prices by up to $200.
  • Walmart gave in-store shoppers on select networks a $400 Walmart gift card free with purchase of the iPhone 8, 8 Plus or X.

Some deals were available earlier than others. For example, while Target’s gift card bundles launched at 7 a.m. on Friday, Nov. 23, Walmart’s iPhone promotion kicked off at 6 p.m. on Nov. 22.

Lauren Schwahn is a writer at NerdWallet. Email: [email protected] Twitter: @lauren_schwahn. This article originally appeared on NerdWallet as IPhone Black Friday 2019 Deals: Are They Worth It?

What to look out for so you don’t buy compromised gift card

WICHITA, Kan. (KWCH) — For many last-minute shoppers, gift cards are easy options. But, as one local woman and the Better Business Bureau warn, the gift card could be compromised before it’s used.

Elizabeth Mayer says she received a $100 Walmart gift card that only had $1.28 left before she even had a chance to use it. She printed out the transaction history that showed it was used while she was asleep.

The Better Business Bureau warns one tactic scammers use is taking pictures of gift cards and then putting them back on the shelf. With access to the bar code, they have access to the card balance.

This is what happened in Mayer’s case.

“Management pulled the camera, and they saw this woman and her boyfriend or whoever with a cellphone, flipping through pictures. (They) showed the cashier a picture of the gift card, and the cashier scanned it and let the transaction go through,” Mayer says.

She learned this scam isn’t uncommon.

A second warming when it comes to gift cards are stickers that cover the PIN can be bought online, meaning scammers can scratch one off in the store and put a new sticker on the card.

“It’s easy to get caught into the hustle of trying to get your shopping done. You go into the kiosk, maybe you’re grabbing a few gift cards and you may not take the time to flip it over and see it’s been tampered with,” says Denise Groene with the Better Business Bureau.

She says you should check out the sticker covering the PIN and if it looks tampered with, give the card to a store associate and pick out another one.

When it comes to selecting a gift card, Groene suggests taking one that’s the farthest back on the shelf and harder for scammers to access. Finally, at checkout, grab a gift receipt. Retailers are more likely to help you if you have documentation.

About Gift Card Scams

If you believe you’re the victim of a scam involving App Store & iTunes Gift Cards or Apple Store Gift Cards, you can call Apple at 800-275-2273 (U.S.) and say “gift cards” when prompted.

A string of scams are taking place asking people to make payments over the phone for things such as taxes, hospital bills, bail money, debt collection, and utility bills. The scams are committed using many methods, including gift cards. As the fraudsters are sometimes requesting codes from App Store & iTunes Gift Cards or Apple Store Gift Cards, we want to make sure our customers are aware of these scams.

Regardless of the reason for payment, the scam follows a certain formula: The victim receives a call instilling panic and urgency to make a payment by purchasing App Store & iTunes Gift Cards or Apple Store Gift Cards from the nearest retailer (convenience store, electronics retailer, etc.). After the cards have been purchased, the victim is asked to pay by sharing the code(s) on the back of the card with the caller over the phone.

It’s important to know that App Store & iTunes Gift Cards can be used ONLY to purchase goods and services from the iTunes Store, App Store, Apple Books, for an Apple Music subscription, or for iCloud storage. Apple Store Gift Cards can be redeemed ONLY on the Apple Online Store and at Apple Retail Stores. If you’re approached to use the cards for any other payment, you could very likely be the target of a scam and should immediately report it to your local police department as well as the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) at ftccomplaintassistant.gov.

SCOTTSBURG, Ind. (WDRB) — Police want you to know about a scam targeting Walmart shoppers.

Police in Scottsburg say they were notified by Walmart’s loss prevention department about a man using self-checkouts and gift cards to con customers.

“It was a male, he appeared to be of Asian descent,” Scottsburg Police Department Assistant Police Chief, Major David Hardin said.

They say the man takes Walmart gift cards to the self -checkout aisle.

He scans the cards, takes off without paying, and the next shopper in line gets tricked into buying the gift cards.

“You go to Walmart and you spend about $100 dollars, just about everybody does,” Hardin said. “You wouldn’t pay attention to a $20 or $30 dollar charge.”

Police warn shoppers to play close attention to the itemized charges on their receipts, look out for your friends and family members, particularly the elderly.

“They get taken advantage of,” Hardin said. “Don’t be afraid to look at it, look at the value of what you think you’re purchasing and make sure that’s correct.”

Hardin says Walmart first noticed the scam at the Walmart in Scottsburg, but it has been a problem at other Walmart locations across southern Indiana.

It’s the Scottsburg Walmart’s close distance to I-65 that makes it a target for scammers, according to police.

“You can get right off the interstate, and they can do whatever scam they’ve got and get back on the interstate and be gone,” Hardin said.

Hardin says if this has happened to you or someone you know, call police immediately.