Below are tips to help you avoid being a victim of Gift Card Scams.
• Scammers will call pretending to be a government agency (i.e. IRS, Law Enforcement, Social Security) and claim the victim owes the agency money. They use scare tactics such as stating the victim will be arrested or will lose their home if they do not comply. They instruct the victim to purchase gift cards and give the card numbers and pins to them as payment either over the phone or online.
The Granny Scam
• The scammer calls the victim claiming a loved one is in trouble. The scammer instructs the victim to purchase gift cards and give the gift card numbers directly to the scammer over the phone.
• Treat your Gift Card like cash. • Never give your Gift Card number and pin over the phone or online, especially to someone you don’t know and trust. • Government agencies or other businesses do not accept Gift Cards as payment toward bills, bail money or debt collection. • Be wary of Caller ID. Scammers are savvy enough to manipulate Caller ID so it looks like it’s coming from a legitimate business or government agency. • If the scammer is claiming your loved one is in trouble, hang up and call the loved one directly to verify. • Report any suspicious activity to your local authorities.
If you think you have been a victim of a scam, report it to your local authorities. You can also report it to the Federal Trade Commission (https://antifraudcentre-centreantifraude.ca/report-signalez-eng.htm)