Category Archives: SMiShing

Yet another $1,000 Walmart Gift Card scam

I’ve already covered how you’re not getting a $1,000 Walmart Gift Card just for liking a page on Facebook.

Now there’s a text message version of the scam that directs victims to a website that asks for personal information.

At this point, I think we can call out a general identity theft and scam prevention tip, one you can keep in the back of your mind for all time:

You’re probably never going to get a free $1,000 Walmart gift card, ever.

Read that, then read it again. Remember it for the rest of your life. It doesn’t matter which communication channel the alleged offer shows up through, it’s a scam.

Facebook or Twitter? Scam.

Email? Scam.

Text message? Same deal.

Phone call? You guessed it.

Pony Express? Scam, but you’d have to admire their dedication, if nothing else.

I suppose there might be a scenario in which you could win a gift card, such as a raffle at your church or other reputable organization. But you have to actively enter to be eligible for those. People don’t just contact you out of the blue to give away massive gift cards. It would be nice if they did, but wishing something is true does nothing to alter the cold, hard facts.

Text message scam: there needs to be a word for this

We need to come up with a word for “scams that arrive via text message, but are not phishing attacks, which already has a word (SMiShing).”

Crooxting? Because they’re crooks, and they’re texting you. Something tells me this is going to be an uphill endeavor. Sort of like trying to make ‘fetch’ happen.

Anyway, this showed up on my phone the other day, in two parts:

FRM:ci2 h5j8
MSG:Bestbuys giving away
Leftover Cyber-Monday
$1000 giftcards at: go
claim yours

ci2 is texting
you for free using Textie
app. You can reply or text
‘stop’ to block, Get Textie
free in the iPhone App

I’ll give you a shiny new penny* if you can find five things that DON’T scream “absolute scam” about this, because I sure couldn’t.

I also won’t be texting ‘stop’ to anyone, either; I don’t want to confirm that mine was a genuine phone number.

If you get one of these, just delete it.

*Disclaimer: Not a genuine offer. I don’t have a shiny new penny. Which is making this Penny Racer totally unfun to play with, by the way. No wheelie action at all.

Video Dispatch: Phishing

Just the other day I got to see my first fake Facebook login page. Someone had posted several status updates that said something to the effect of “LOL! FRIENDS IN FUNNY VIDEO” and a link that was disguised with a URL shortener ( or or something).

The page it linked to was an exact duplicate of the real Facebook login page, at least to my eyes. The only difference was that the URL was an IP address, not “”

Crooks set these pages up to steal login and password information. Just so they can vandalize your Facebook page, right?


Once they have control of your account, they may try to contact your friends via Facebook Chat, with a variation on “Help! I’m in London and got mugged, please wire money to…”

At any rate, since I was already thinking about phishing, I thought it was time to do a Video Dispatch on the topic. Enjoy!

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