Inside LADA

September 28, 2018: Requests for Gift Cards as Payment Often Signal Fraud

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When someone calls offering a product or service and asks for a gift card as payment, it’s probably a scam.

In the Gift Card Payment Scam, fraudsters call the victims, usually with a sense of urgency, and offer to resolve a purported debt or other problem. The scammers keep victims on the phone, then tell them to buy a gift card, most commonly an Apple iTunes card, and provide the card’s code as payment.

Government agencies and most legitimate companies, except for those that issue gift cards for redemption, won’t ask for or accept gift cards as a form of payment.

TIPS:

  • Only use gift cards at the businesses for which they are designated.
  • Never use a gift card to make a payment for products or services offered by unsolicited callers.
  • When an unknown person calls seeking payment by any means, hang up and don’t provide any personal or financial information.

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