Watch Out for Gift Card Scams
May 22, 2023 | posted by Conner Williams
Scammers continue to evolve their methods in the hopes of getting people to fall for their schemes, and sometimes they can be hard to spot. But one telltale sign of a scam is when someone asks you to pay for a service or help with a gift card. They might say to put money on a certain kind of gift card, like a Google Play or iTunes card, and then give them the numbers on the back of the card. This is most definitely a scam attempt – no real government agency or business will ever insist you pay them with a gift card.
These sorts of scams have become so common that some retail establishments have begun putting up signage raising awareness about gift card scams in the section of the store where they are kept. The image above shows a sign in the gift card section of a local grocery store, and it includes sound advice: never provide card numbers to anyone you don’t personally know.
In a situation where someone asks you to pay for a service using a gift card, especially if they claim to be from a legitimate organization, end the conversation and report the scammer to:
- The Federal Trade Commission at ReportFraud.ftc.gov
- The Oregon Attorney General at DOJ.state.or.us/consumer-protection
If you lost money to a gift card scam, contact the company that issued the card and see what support options are available. If you purchased a gift card using a credit card, there may be purchase protections in place from the card issuer as well.
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