Business group warns against text messaging scams

March 26, 2012

Associated Press

The Better Business Bureau is warning consumers around Chicago and northern Illinois to beware of text messages that advertise free gift cards from popular retail stores in exchange for credit card information.

Bureau officials say that the practice of sending a message to steal credit card or identity information via cell phone text messaging is known as "smishing."

The group strongly discourages consumers from submitting any personal information.

Bureau officials say the messages aren't sent by retailers such as Best Buy or Wal-Mart Stores.

The group also warns against messages that direct recipients to call toll-free numbers in order to complete or cancel some financial transaction.

Bureau officials say text messages are not typically blocked and only contain text, making it easier for scammers to make counterfeit messages appear legitimate.