Watch Out For Gift Card Scams

Nawash Police Services are advising members to be aware of a number of gift card scams targeting the unaware.

In these sorts of scams, the victim is often contacted by someone claiming to be with a government agency, or a lawyer, and threatens the victim with heavy penalties or legal trouble if fake outstanding debts aren’t paid.  In other versions, the scammer is someone the victim met online and trusts, who then claims to urgently need money. In yet another version, the scammer claims to be working with the company selling the gift cards, as a secret shopper reviewing the business.

In every version of the gift card scam, victims are told to purchase gift cards and give the unique codes on the backs of the cards to the scammers, either by typing them in, or sending pictures. The scammers can then redeem the gift cards online, just using the unique codes from the backs of the gift cards. Scammers will use the value to immediately purchase expensive items for themselves, which they resell for real money.

Legitimate companies and agencies will NEVER ask for or accept gift cards as payment.  NEVER purchase a gift card for anyone that you do not know personally.

If you are contacted by any stranger demanding or asking that you purchase a gift card, take down the person’s details, including the phone number they are calling from, and report the incident to the police.

The Better Business Bureau has issued a detailed report on gift card scams that you can read here.

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