Alert consumer catches texting scam

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OKLAHOMA CITY — We told you about a text message going around telling people they won a $1,000 gift card fromWalmart. The big bucks are bogus and our report alerted the Oklahoma Attorney General’s Office of the problem.

Now the scammers are moving on to other stores to try to draw in their victims.

Cathy Jerome got a text Tuesday claiming she won $50 to Target, but she knew better because she watches KFOR.

She said, “If it hadn’t been for your story last night, I don’t know, I might have not realized even the possibility that it could be a scam. I might have called.”

We decided to do the calling for her and the response was comical.

After dialing the number from the text, we were prompted to press one (never a good idea).

After asking if the text was a scam and getting hung up on, we called back and played along to see what would happen.

Sure enough after a few minutes we were told the money was in the mail but they needed credit card information to charge a one-time $2.95 fee.

That’s when we hung up.

Diane Clay with the Oklahoma Attorney General’s Office said our story Monday night brought the new text message trouble to their attention.

They sent out a news release stating:

“These types of scams delivered via mobile phones are known as ‘smishing.’ Con-artists randomly send out messages in an attempt to obtain information, and often go to great lengths to make the messages appear authentic. Walmart recently posted an alert on its website declaring the messages fake and that the company doesn’t participate in these types of promotions or request personal information in this manner.”

Clay advises to warn older people of the scam and said if you have any questions, you can always call the A.G.’s Office to ask about a potential scam.

She said, “This is not the first time and it won’t be the last time and if there is some new technology down the road, that’s invented they’ll find a way to use that.”

However, if you stay alert you can be like Jerome and keep your dollars in your wallet.

Jerome said, “I hate it that there are so many scams out there but I’m glad that people like you are telling us about it so we don’t accidentally fall into something. I work too hard f