Monday, July 30, 2012

Target Gift Card SMiShing Scam

I just received a text message prompting me to visit and enter the "winning code" they sent, to claim a free $500 Target gift card.

Message sent from #1 440-752-4372 (Ohio area code)

I visited (through a secure proxy of course) and it appears virtually everyone who visits this site is a winner! I can assure you is not affiliated with the real Target corporation.

Domain info for
Registrar Internet.BS Corp info

This is probably a phishing attack, not just spam. In this case it's called "SMiShing". Smishing attacks are on the rise, says the BBB, and that "Many of these messages come with embedded links that can ultimately spread viruses to the phone if clicked."

According to the Charleston Gazette, "The text message provides a link to a fake Target website where recipients can "claim the prize" by entering personal information such as their name, address and social security number."

This attack isn't only aimed at Target customers, because I've never given Target my cell number, and I haven't heard anything about a Target website related database breach or hack. [Edit: Oh yes there was a huge Target database hack - revealed many months after this post]

The crooks may be texting people at random. Anyone who follows the link in the text message is a potential victim of identity theft.

Supposedly Target is working with the FBI to track down these thieves, who also use Wal-Mart and Best Buy gift cards as bait.

Also beware online ads like this one, which leads to: - which is blacklisted for spamming. Don't give them your email, phone # or other personal info.

Some other numbers the scammers are reportedly using: 

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