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Wal-Mart Text Message Scam: Save Money, Live Better, Don't Give out Info Over the Phone

Walmart
CBS' KTVT
(AP Photo/Mel Evans)

ASH FORK, Ariz. (CBS) Wal-Mart, the nation's largest retailer, has been the target of a text message scam that proves too good to be true, reports The Arizona Republic.

Yavapai County Sheriffs in Arizona are warning all citizens not to give personal information to telemarketers, such as credit card information or social security numbers, in order to receive a gift certificate.

Why?

Even though the "trustworthy" telemarketers claim to be giving out gift certificates free of charge, there is a price to pay

According to the Wal-Mart website, "Fraudsters purporting to be from Wal-Mart have been making phone calls and sending text messages offering free Walmart gift cards to consumers, often under the guise of a 'customer appreciation program.' As part of the scam, the fraudsters ask the consumer for their credit card information to pay for shipping and handling."

According to the newspaper, the Sheriff's Office says the scam has affected people all over the country, and the victims were charged "three to four times" the quoted cost of shipping and handling.

Wal-Mart says the phone calls are "not from Wal-Mart" and that the company "will never initiate a phone call where we ask for sensitive personal data like credit card information or social security numbers."

Those who have encountered the text message bandits are urged by the Yavapai County Sheriff's Office to file a complain with the FBI at www.ic3.gov, as well as contact their cell phone provider.