It is something new to many facebook users. Target gift cards scam is taking rounds on internet and is effecting the interest of many users now on facebook too. Many users who are hardcore bargainers attract towards the free gift cards for shopping and eventually end up regretting their decisions.
What exactly happens is that you will see a post on your facebook home wall which claims that if you send the word TARGET to a specific number, you will get a free gift card which they just got. Post varies, but one thing alike is that you were asked to text the word TARGET to a specific number afterward you will receive a link from the very same number.
IDTheftinfo.org , a website by Consumer Federation of America nominates the scam as “SMISHING”. The scam looks similar to “PHISHING” scam and the only difference is that the scammer uses the text rather than an email to approach you.
As you open the link sent by the scammer ,immediately , you were asked to provide with some basic information including your social security number , credit\debit card information etc.
If you do online shopping a lot, do watch porn a lot, search mobile phones, bikes, cars, movies etc there are chances that you will witness the TARGET post on your facebook home wall basically of your interest[ Like shopping gift cards post claim to access you with some free shopping, porn gift cards claim to have a free subscription to a popular porn site, mobile gift cards claim to give you free brand new popular brand mobile etc].
According to Snopes hackers even use bots to share the scam with your facebook friends or followers without your consent.
According to the FEDERAL TRADE COMMISSION, COMSUMER INFORMATION , scammers are good at convincing people and try to behave more and more friendly by saying words like “ family member in need, tech support” etc.
A person needs to be CAREFULL of the following points:-
1) Be careful with your personal information.
2) Be careful with your bank details.
3) Be caredul about the gift cards as these gift cards are untraceable , unless one act immediately.
4) Whenever in doubt contact the company directly for your queries abouit the gift card.
According to Jennifer Leach, Assistant Director, Division of Consumer and business Education, “A gift card is for gift and not payments. If you are victim in te scam please tell the Federation Trade Commission as it could help to Shut down Purveyors of Fake Documents used for Fraud”.
According to the KHOU.com verify team , there is similarity in those posts and you can identify such posts by:-
1) Those posts are all carbon copies , always ending with a smile or winking emoji.
2) The main motive is to get your personal details basically your credit\debit card number.
I personally know a women whose facebook account was used to share the giftcard which claims to give a brand new IPhone of latest version if you send TARGET to the given number, which she had got one . Being an IPhone lover , I do the very instructed to do in the post on my facebook home wall. I received a link back which I opened and a new page o after two three pages loaded in background opened. I was immediately asked to provide my basic information , PIN code of the area , credit\debit card number , security code etc . I was 15 then and not had a bank account so I left the page. Talked to my elder brother who told me that it was a scam , I immediately opened my facebook account to report the very same post but the post was , missing as it was not there even before. I complaint to facebook help and they assured me to look into the matter.
In the last I want to conclude that every one should feel safe on the facebook and nobody wants to be fooled by any scammer. This the duty of facebook and cycle security to provide us with a safe place for socializing our life and to capture those scam post and verify the IP address to proceed further for better grounds on the website.
Facebook in now a days one of the most loved social site which benefits the scammers too to approach people as many as possible.
You need to be aware enough to use your bank and personal details.
MUHAMMAD FAIZAN QAZI.
I have always been against Glorifying Over Work and therefore, in the year 2021, I have decided to launch this campaign “Balancing Life”and talk about this wrong practice, that we have been following since last few years. I will be talking to and interviewing around 1 lakh people in the coming 2021 and publish their interview regarding their opinion on glamourising Over Work.
If you are interested in participating in the same, do let me know.
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