Gift card scams are extremely common and successful. If a stranger asks you to pay using a Gift Card, I want your next thought to be SCAM! Program yourself to mistrust anyone asking you to go buy a gift card. Treat gift cards just like cash. Only use them as gifts, with people you know, love and trust.
Gift Card Scam Examples
- Someone from Microsoft is calling. And s/he says they’ll fix your computer and you can pay them using a Walmart Gift Card.
- An investment genius on Facebook asks you to buy them Google Play Gift Cards so you can participate in a Bitcoin-Generating investment operation.
- The IRS contacts you regarding tax arrears, and claims you can avoid jailtime by buying them several Amazon Gift Cards.
- You’ve won the lottery, but first need to provide the authorities with a gift card deposit.
And so on. All of these are created out of whole cloth, and you should disengage from any schemes like these.
Scammers love gift cards! Those guys know that scammy credit card charges are easily disputed and reversed. But the funds on gift cards are largely untraceable and unrecoverable. Once they get a number from a gift card, they will soon syphon off that money and vanish with their spoils.
So please: Let the mere mention of a gift card be a red flag to you that you have encountered a scam. Legitimate companies will never run you to the store to buy such things. If you encounter a gift card scam, disconnect the call or delete the messages and move on!
If gift card scams have taken your money, I am so very sorry. Please understand that your money is probably lost. But, as soon as you figure out the situation, contact the gift card company about the scam. In rare situations, quick action allows them to freeze the gift card(s) and return you your funds. You should also report the crime to the local authorities.