Gift Card Fraud Prevention

Gift card fraud scams.

Most gift card fraud happens when a scammer, pretending to be a family member or reputable entity (like the IRS, Social Security Administration, etc.), calls a consumer and asks them to pay taxes, hospital bills, bail or even utility bills with gift cards from well-known retail brands. Scammers may also impersonate a salesperson and request payment for things such as a car, boat, or vacation via gift cards.

Similarly, romance scams happen when a scammer pretends to form a romantic relationship with their intended victim, often via a dating app, messaging site, or a series of phone calls before asking for money in the form of gift cards. These scammers typically claim to be overseas and in need of urgent financial help.

Another form of gift card fraud happens when a criminal offers a high-value gift card via a website advertisement, email or text message. The scam directs consumers to a website that requires them to make purchases, provide personal information, and/or fulfill other conditions in order to receive the gift card. Once the conditions are met, the consumer may never receive the gift card or may have spent more than the value of the gift card.