Text messages being sent to Riverdale residents informing them they’ve been randomly selected to win a $1,000 gift card from Walmart are a scam. Innocent recipients of the message click on the link in the text and are taken to a website where their phone may become infected with a virus or where they’ll be required to provide personal, identity data in order to receive their prize (which never comes).
It’s a scam that’s been around for nearly ten years, first making news in this Consumer Reports article in 2012.
According to Walmart, the company does not participate in these kinds of promotions. Walmart does give away gift cards to randomly-selected people who participate in their customer service online surveys. Notification to winners comes via certified mail, though, not as a text message over your phone.
Riverdale and the Quad Cities are not the only targets for this scam. Fraudsters are hitting communities and users around the country. Here’s a news update from WFMY-TV in Greensboro, NC, on the matter: