We’ve said it before, and we’ll say it again: Don’t reply to — or click on — a link for a random text message you see on your phone saying that you’ve won a prize, gift card or an expensive electronic like an iPad. It’s most likely a scam.
According to a text spam settlement announced by the FTC, two groups of companies known as SubscriberBASE Holdings, Inc., and Threadpoint, LLC, hired spammers to send millions of unsolicited texts to lure people to websites where they would get “free” gift cards. When people clicked on the links, they were led to bogus websites to register for the prizes. Registration required them to sign up for several third-party offers where they had to reveal personal information. At the end, no one actually got the gift cards that were promised. The whole operation was designed to allow these companies to collect people’s personal information and make money by selling it to third-parties.
This scam is avoidable: