Plenty of Iowans could use $1,000 gift card at this time of year. Be warned though, thousands of people are getting text messages on their phones, telling them they’ve been picked to get a big-money gift card from a well-known retailer.

Jim Hegarty, of the Better Business Bureau, says you shouldn’t fall for it.

“The text message indicates you’re eligible for a free $1000 gift card from Target,” Hegarty says. “It indicates you need to go to a website and enter an access code.”

Don’t go to the website, no matter how tempting it may be. Hegarty says the senders of the texts are up to no good.

“What ends up happening, you get further bombardment, emails, all sorts of offers from companies we don’t know anything about,” Hegarty says. “We can’t really evaluate the legitimacy of them.”

The best course of action is to just delete the text, as no good will come from it, certainly not a free thousand-dollar gift card.

He says, “We believe this is a phishing scheme that is simply designed to gather lots of personal information about consumers that can ultimately be sold.”

Iowans are reminded to treat any text message that comes to their phone from someone they don’t know just like they’re treat an email from an unknown source — as if it’s spam. Learn more at