Sacto 9-1-1
April 13, 2012
Yolo DA's Office warns of phony text messages targeting cell phone users

The Yolo County District Attorney's Office advises people to be alert to a scam involving phony text messages to cell phone users.

Officials cite two messages in particular. The first begins: "Dear Walmart Shopper, Congratulations you have just won a $1000 dollar Walmart Gift Card." The second begins: "Apple is looking for people to Text & Keep the New iPad 3!" Both messages ask the cell phone users to click or go to a website provided.

Authorities advise people to delete these messages.

This type of scam using text messaging on a cell phone is known variously as "Vishing," "Phishing," or "Smishing," according to a District Attorney's Office news release. The message can be sent to thousands of people by crooks using a computer. The goal, authorities said, is to get people who may not know it is a trick to provide personal information such as bank account or credit card numbers. The scammers' plan is to get people excited about winning something so they will quickly respond without verifying that the information is legitimate.

Apple headquarters encourages recipients of the text for the free iPad to report it to reportphishing@apple.com. For information about the Walmart gift card scam, go to Walmartstores.com/PrivacySecurity, then click on the "fraud alerts" link.

For more information, call Dave Edwards, enforcement officer with the Yolo County District Attorney's Office, at (530) 666-8180.

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