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Attorney General William Sorrell Warns Consumers Of Another Emerging Text Phishing Scam

CONTACT: Jason Duquette-Hoffman, Consumer Assistance Program, (800) 649-2424

May 23, 2012

Attorney General William Sorrell is warning consumers of another fraudulent text message scam targeting Vermont consumers. The Attorney General’s Consumer Assistance Program has received a number of consumer reports of text messages supposedly from the electronics retailer Best Buy. The scam text messages, claiming the consumer has won a "$1000 Best Buy gift card” are an attempt to “phish” for personal information. The message directs consumers to a website that claims to offer reward program membership and requires a credit application. Best Buy has confirmed with our office that it has no affiliation with this texting scam and has verified that the “certificates” issued are not valid or redeemable. Example:

Your entry last month has won! Goto http://www.bestbuy.com/pclm.biz?claimid=212 and enter your winning Code:"6655" to claim your Free $1000 Bestbuy card...

Similar to texts messages reported earlier this week, it appears the scammers are using a technique of random digit dialing to contact consumers. The solicitation is an attempt to obtain personal and private information about consumers, likely in order to steal identities and sell the information to other scammers.

Consumers should not respond to the text message or visit the website. Consumers who remitted personal information should take identity theft precautions (see the CAP website at http://www.uvm.edu/consumer/?Page=idtheft.html). Receipt of this text message, along with any other scams consumers receive should be reported to the Consumer Assistance Program by email at consumer@uvm.edu, or by calling 800-649-2424.

The Attorney General's Office is reminding consumers to be wary of text messages and calls they did not initiate or from sources they do not know. Consumers should never give out personal information to an unverified source. Because identity theft is the fastest growing crime, it is important that consumers are vigilant about protecting their personal information.

If you have received one of these text messages, you may report it to the Consumer Assistance Program at 800-649-2424 or by email at consumer@uvm.edu. Consumers can get up-to-the-minute alerts by following the Attorney General’s Consumer Assistance Program on Twitter @vtconsumers or on the CAP website at www.uvm.edu/consumer.

  Website consulting provided by The National Association of Attorneys General.