AARP Fraud Watch: Gift Card Payment Scams

(WHTM) – The AARP Fraud Watch Network recently investigated gift card payment scams.

According to the survey, more than a third of adults say they’ve been asked, or someone they know, to buy a gift card to fix a problem or help a loved one in a bind.

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Of those targeted, nearly a quarter followed and purchased gift cards. AARP states that legitimate businesses and government agencies will never ask you to make payments by purchasing gift cards and sharing the numbers on the back.

Here are the red flags:

  • Someone is trying to convince you that the fastest way to fix a situation is to buy gift cards and share the numbers on the back.
  • In most scenarios, the criminal creates an emotional situation and you feel compelled to act quickly.

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If you’re trying to buy gift cards and the employee warns you that you might be scammed, trust them. They try to help you

AARP says if you’re asked to buy a gift card to fix a problem or get some type of promotion, hang up. It’s probably a scam.

If you’ve lost money to a gift card scam, call your local police department. Be sure to insist that they file a report. This can help you get your money back if the criminals are brought to justice later.


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Elaine R. Knight