The Consumer Assistance Program has recorded a 220% increase in gift card scams with loss reports since December.
Gift card scams take many forms; however, all request a gift card as payment and for the numbers on the back of the card to be provided to the scammer.
Be in the know:
- Using gift cards as payment is like sending cash.
- Providing the numbers on the back of the card is like giving cash: Scammers may ask you to take pictures of the card or relay the numbers of the phone.
- Scammers may say you must pay with a gift card because your credit card or another form of payment won’t work.
- Scammers may claim that using the gift cards will provide you certain incentives or free money opportunities.
- Gift cards are only valid forms of payment when used with the card’s identified retailer.
- Retail businesses can’t refund gift card funds that have been spent.
Watch out for this and other similar scams that ask you to act quickly by providing gift card information, cash or money order, or by sending a wire transfer or peer-to-peer payment.
If you are asked to pay with a gift card, contact CAP right away at 1-800-649-2424.
Contributing Writer: Crystal Baldwin