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.

Fraudulent CERB Over-payment Calls

Neyaashiinigmiing Police have issued a warning about a new telephone fraud scam:

CERB Over-Payment Fraudulent Calls

There have been recent reports of fraudulent callers, advising people that they have received a Canada Emergency Response Benefit (CERB) over-payment. The caller may immediately ask you to “confirm” your name, as these are random calls and they do not know the identity of who they are calling. The caller will strategically use the victim to self-disclose identifying information.

In these cases the callers may make attempts to immediately retrieve all or partial payment of a fictitious over-payment amount. In some cases the fraudster may offer you a “reduced” payment amount if you respond immediately.

This is a common tactic of fraudsters, to entice you to act immediately through threat of negative consequences or stated benefit.

If you receive any such calls, hang up immediately. Do not provide any personal information. If you have any doubts about the validity of the call, contact a verified Canada Revenue Agency website or phone number.

Vince Wurfel- Supervisor
Neyaashiinigmiing Police