Gift card scams are a type of fraud where scammers manipulate victims into buying gift cards and sharing the card number and
Personal Identification Number
. Once the scammer has these details, they quickly drain the funds from the card.
common examples of gift card scams
ONLINE SELLING SCAMS
In these cases, scammers pose as interested buyers on online marketplaces. They trick sellers into accepting payment via gift cards, which they then redeem and disappear.
LOTTERY OR PRIZE SCAMS
Victims are told they've won a prize or lottery but need to pay taxes or fees using gift cards before they can claim their winnings.
The scammer pretends to be a government official, tech support representative, or even a family member in distress. They insist that the victim needs to pay them immediately with gift cards.
ways you can avoid gift card scams
Be Skeptical of Payment Requests: Legitimate organizations will never ask for payments via gift cards. If you receive such a request, it's likely a scam.
Never Share Your Gift Card Details: Never share your gift card number and PIN with anyone you don't trust. Scammers can use this information to quickly deplete the card.
Purchase Gift Cards Directly: Buy gift cards directly from the retailer or a trusted source. Scammers sometimes remove gift cards from store racks, record the numbers, and wait for them to be activated to drain the funds.
Report Suspicious Activity: If you suspect you're a victim of a gift card scam, report it to the retailer and your local law enforcement. Also, report it to the Federal Trade Commission (FTC).
Remember, staying informed and vigilant is your best defense against gift card scams. Always think twice before making a payment with a gift card.
Are you ready to learn more about the scams to watch out for this holiday season?
As the Content Specialist and author of the Learning & Guidance Center, Yanna enjoys motivating others by uncovering all that's possible in the world of finance. From financial tips and tricks to ultimate guides and comparison charts, she is obsessed with finding ways to help readers excel in their journey towards financial freedom.
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