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      Don't fall for scam called "smishing"

      Missouri Attorney General Chris Koster says don't be fooled by text messages offering free gift cards to Walmart or Costco.

      Have you been receiving mysterious text messages lately?

      Missouri Attorney General Chris Koster says don't be fooled by text messages offering free gift cards to Walmart or Costco. According to Koster, it's a scam created by identity thieves who seek to steal your personal information.

      According to the Missouri Attorney General's Office, identity thieves are sending text messages to consumers, asking them to click on a link to claim their prize. When they click on the link, the cell phone is then automatically infected with malware that allows identity thieves access to their social security number and bank information. Koster said this scam is called "smishing."

      In order to avoid these situations altogether, Koster suggests consumers put a security freeze on their credit reports. This prevents identity thieves from using their information to open credit accounts in their name. In the state of Missouri, the security freeze cost $5. If the person has already been a victim of identity theft, the service is free.

      To place a freeze to your report, the Attorney General's Office recommends contacting these credit agencies:

      Equifax: http://www.experian.com/consumer/help/states/mo.html

      Trans Union: http://www.transunion.com/personal-credit/credit-disputes/credit-freezes.page

      Experian: https://www.experian.com/freeze/center.html

      (KTVO reporter Stephanie Claytor contributed to this report.)