Target is basically the Holy Grail for many mothers, so the thought of getting a free gift for any amount is very intriguing. Unfortunately, if it seems too good to be true, it usually is, and that most definitely applies to anyone offering free gift cards on Facebook.
We've all seen numerous "click here and get a free gift card" posts circulate on social media. They're normally for some of the most popular stores including Costco or Starbucks and they're typically phishing schemes designed to steal your information.
Good Housekeeping brought the scam to our attention, warning readers to steer clear of any offers of free Target gift cards. The post looks like the picture below. A simple message telling you to text the word 'TARGET' to a specified number and you'll simply get your free Target gift card.
While many know that offers like these are rarely valid, the prospect of a free gift card is enough for many people to take a chance on. As Good Housekeeping explains, this is a kind of “smishing” scam. Similar to phishing, with a smishing scam the hacker will then send you a text message asking you to eventually provide private and personal information. It may also even hack your Facebook account, sending the message out to your followers without you even realizing it.
Website IDTheftInfo suggests that if you click on the link of any offer and it doesn't take you directly to the company's actual web page, it's more than likely a scam. They also suggest that most major chains will never send you any form of electronic correspondence like an email or text message asking you to provide personal, banking or credit card details.
While it's easy to be lured in to the prospect of free money, it's important to realize the likelihood of Target giving out free gift cards on Facebook through a random text number doesn't really seem legitimate. If you're curious you can always contact the store in question to ask if it is a valid offer before texting or responding to any offer found on social media. Sadly, if something looks too good to be true, it normally is.
Protect yourself and your friends and family and let them know this Target offer is a scam.