Consumer Alerts


CONSUMER ALERT: “Rachel” Up to No Good Again – This Time in Email Gift Card Scam
August 6, 2012

Contact:  Jerad Albracht, Communications Specialist, 608-224-5007 or
Jim Dick, Communications Director, 608-224-5020 
MADISON – “Rachel” (the scammer) has had a busy year, first showing up in “credit card services” automated phone calls and now as part of an email phishing scam.
If you receive an email from “Rachel, Customer Service, Employee Benefits Center, LLC” informing you that you have been issued a free $1,000 Visa gift card on behalf of a local business, be aware that it is a scam and take no action with the email.
Consumers nationwide have received these emails, with each email claiming to offer the gift cards on behalf of a local company, charity or government agency. The emails appear official and ask recipients to visit a website to claim the card.
If a recipient falls for the bait and visits the website, he/she will be asked for a number of personal details. It is also possible that the website may attempt to load malicious software (known as “malware”) onto the victim’s computer.
Regardless of the company whose name is used, the scam emails include the same content:
  • The subject line of the email will typically read: (Your name), a thank you from (local company name). For example: Jim, a thank you from Company X
  • The body of the email will include:
    • The recipient’s first and last name and an “Issuing branch” in the city or state where the recipient lives
    • A “Valid until” date for the card (often listed as “08/2015”)
    • A website address where the recipient can “claim the card and have it shipped to the address of your choosing”
    • A 48-hour deadline to make victims react more quickly to the “offer”
    • A signature from “Rachel, Customer Service, Employee Benefits Center, LLC”
If you receive this email, do not visit the listed website, open any links or attachments, respond to the sender or take any other action with the solicitation. Update your anti-virus software to ensure that your computer can recognize any recent malware attacks.
For more information or to file a consumer complaint, visit, send an e-mail to or call the hotline toll-free at 1-800-422-7128.
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