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Scam Circulating in Valley City

October 17, 2012

A scam has begun circulating in Valley City, trying to convince residents they have won $50 in gift cards, said Valley City Police Chief Fred Thompson Monday.

Thompson said Valley City police learned of the scam about one week ago. It consists of written documents claiming the user can obtain vouchers for $50 in Walmart gift cards in return for receiving up to three issues of magazines. Readers are instructed to call an 800 number to receive the gift card voucher.

“It is not legitimate,” Thompson said, adding police have contacted Walmart, which denies any knowledge of the claimed way to obtain gift cards.

Thompson said police have also contacted the holder of the 800 number, which also claims they have no connection with the offer.

Thompson said people who call will be asked for a credit card number. “Once they (the scammer) get the number, they can buy whatever they want. If you get one (the offer) it is no good, and if you do, contact the Valley City Police Department.”

“Walmart isn’t happy about it, but this kind of thing happens. Walmart disavows any knowledge of this,” Thompson said.

The chief said the scam appears not to be aimed at specific groups of residents such as senior citizens. “This type of scam will go to anyone,” he said.

“If it seems to good to be true, it probably is,” Thompson said.
“Fortunately, this particular resident was smart enough to ask us (police)” if it was a legitimate offer.

Thompson said Valley City Police have not heard about this particular scam occurring in other areas of North Dakota.

The North Dakota Attorney General periodically sends out warnings scams are being perpetrated in the state.

In February, N.D. Attorney General Wayne Stenehjem warned North Dakotans in a release about “callers falsely posing as Blue Cross Blue Shield North Dakota under the guise of a survey to its members.”

Stenehjem said the Consumer Protection Division has confirmed Blue Cross is not contacting its members.

Stenehjem said the callers leave messages asking the recipient to call a phone number regarding a survey. “This is a scam and people should not return the calls, speak with the callers, or provide any information.”

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