Once again, local authorities are warning citizens that, if it sounds too good to be true, it probably is.
In recent days, Kosciusko County residents have reported receiving postcards claiming they are eligible for $100 in “gift savings” at Walmart or Target stores. The postcards are appearing in mailboxes around the county.
Each postcard provides a toll-free number to call and a claim number. Those who have called the phone number have been asked to enter a Visa or MasterCard and are being charged $6.95 for a processing activation fee of the “gift savings” and shipping costs.
Sgt. Chad Hill of the KCSD said this has actually been a recurring scam for years and it moves around the country. “This is a new twist on a familiar scam involving gift cards that used e-mail and text messaging in the past,” said a press released issued by KCSD. “Now it appears scammers are specifically targeting seniors who may not be familiar with texting and email communication.”
Wal-Mart and Target have no connection with reward and gift savings sweepstakes and do not partner with agencies that encourage consumers to spend money on “sponsor offers” in the belief that they will eventually receive a high value gift card. However, after fulfilling the “sponsor offers” the consumer may never even receive the gift card.
Kosciusko County Sheriff Rocky Goshert offers the following information for everyone to protect themselves from being scammed:
- Do not provide personal information to claim “prizes” or sign up for “free trial”.
- Never give your credit card number, Social Security number or bank account information to pay for fees, taxes, or shipping costs for anything that you may have ‘won’ or are getting for ‘free.’ A true sweepstakes will not make a winner pay fees.
- Check your bank statements and credit cards on a regular basis for unauthorized charges.