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Crooks Take The Art Of Scamming To A New Level

MIAMI (CBSMiami) – If you have received a text message claiming you have won a $1000 Walmart gift card, it's not a store promo—it's part of the latest identity scam.

Some of the most active ways ID thieves are trying to scam your identity are coming through as text messages from your phones, iPads or other digital devices.

It's called "smishing," after the text's SMS service capabilities and the older "phishing" scams that have been around for years using regular e-mail.

The latest one comes into your text service like this: "Dear Walmart shopper, you have just won a $1000 Walmart gift card. Click here to claim your gift".

Cyber-fraud Investigator James Porter of the Secret Service's Miami Field Office said this attempted ID theft is sweeping the country.

Porter said it's an innocent looking message that could easily be mistaken for a great deal.

"I'm sure many people when they've receive a text message like this assume they have free money coming their way," he said.

After numerous calls from its customers, Walmart recently posted an extensive warning on its internet site that the gift card text was indeed a scam.

The Secret Service warned this kind of high-tech fraud is aimed at getting customers personal ID and banking information.

"Once a victim provides that type of information they then become subject to identity theft or possibly having your entire bank account taken from you," Porter said.

The original website the text linked the message to "claim your gift card" has been taken down; investigators expect a new one to pop up any day now.

That's why they warn consumers to not respond to any unsolicited e-mails, text messages or phone calls seeking your confidential information.

For more info on this "smishing scam," visit the following links:


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