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Text message providing free groceries from Target due to coronavirus is fake

The text isn't real, but the link does bring true danger. It allows scammers to track your passwords and credit card numbers.
Target logo (Shutterstock/Sundry Photography)

GREENSBORO, N.C. (WFMY) — Have you received a text that claims Target is giving folks $175 in groceries this week to support the nation during the corona pandemic? The text claims all you have to do is click here to get it.

There have been all kinds of benefits and helps and so you might think this could be real. But....no.

On Target's website, in their scam section, it says “Don't click on or respond to online ads or websites offering free gift cards. These are often scams.”

Yes, this text and the $175 in groceries is a scam. You might choose to click the link, in the hopes of it being real and the thought if it’s not, it’s no big deal. But it is. There is danger in clicking the link.

When you click the link, you give the scammers access to your personal information who created this text without you knowing it. The clicked link installs viruses, spyware, malware or ransomware on your device. This is all done without you knowing it and often times, it's undetectable.

Once your phone or computer is infected, scammers watch as you type in your passwords to your mobile banking, your emails and the credit card number you use to make an online purchase, and they steal it.

Then what? You'll have to do some work to get rid of it. It's not quick, but here are several steps provided by Agingcare:

  • Disconnect device
  • Back-up files
  • Scan for malware
  • Change your credentials
  • Set-up a fraud alert