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FTC Data Spotlight: More scammers are demanding payment with gift cards

A new tactic that imposters and scammers are using is asking for payments with gift cards. a popular way for scammers to steal money from you. That’s because gift cards are like cash: if you buy a gift card and someone uses it, you probably cannot get your money back

Many different kinds of imposters ask you to pay with gift cards. Someone might call you and claim to be from the IRS, collecting back taxes or fines. The caller might say he’s from tech support, asking for money to fix your computer. The caller might even say she’s a family member with an emergency and needs money right now.

Other kinds of scammers, some of them also imposters, who might demand payment by gift card include:

  • callers pretending to be from a utility company, telling you to pay your bill by gift card
  • sellers on online auction sites who ask for gift cards
  • someone posing as a servicemember to get your sympathy
  • callers who say you’ve won a so-called prize for a sweepstakes you probably never entered
  • someone buying something from you, probably online, who sends a check for more than the purchase price – and asks you to give them the difference on a gift card.

These are all scams. In fact, if anyone tells you to pay by gift card, or by wiring money – for any reason – that’s a sure sign of a scam. Every time.

Original article: https://www.consumer.ftc.gov/blog/2018/10/scammers-demand-gift-cards

Kue Lee, Education and Outreach Director, DBO

Kue Lee, Education and Outreach Director, DBO

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