Some cell phone users have been hit by a text-based phone scam that tries to collect recipients' personal information by telling them they have won a $1,000 gift card to Best Buy, warned .
The message includes a link to a website where recipients are asked to provide personal information, such as their names, email addresses and dates of birth.
The practice is sometimes called "" - a combination of SMS and phishing -- according to the FBI.
Redmond Police spokesman and community outreach facilitator Jim Bove offered the following advice to people who receive questionable text messages:
Remember, if it sounds too good to be true, it likely is. You can check similar websites to find out if they are legitimate or you can call the business directly to confirm—just make sure you are looking on their legitimate website to get the appropriate contact information. If you have fallen victim to this, or a similar, scam, please report it to your local law enforcement agency.
Last year, the state Attorney General Rob McKenna's office warned of another .
In a news release issued earlier this year, the Better Business Bureau offered additional information on the scam and tips to for those who receive such text messages:
- Check out the URL or phone number of a company before you disclose any personal or financial information for FREE at www.bbb.org
- Most financial institutions, utility, or other business will not communicate with you via text message. If you do not recognize the website or phone number being sent to you, don't visit or call it;
- Avoid e-mailing and texting personal and financial information. If you have determined the website to be legitimate and do decide to submit financial information, look for the "lock" icon on the browser's status bar. It signals that your information is secure during transmission;
- Review your credit card and bank account statements as soon as you receive them to determine whether there are any unauthorized charges. If your statement is late by more than a couple of days, call your credit card company or bank to confirm your billing address and account balances.
For more information on smishing and other scams targeting consumers, visit the BBB online at www.bbb.org