Scammers find any possible way to trick you into giving up your personal information. But now, there is a way to get money without getting your information - gift card scams. With this scam, fraudsters call or email you and pretend to be an organization you have an account with, such as Amazon. Then, they tell you the only way to fix a specific issue they present to you is to buy multiple gift cards (they usually pick a place) and provide them with the gift card numbers.
Recently, an American 1 Credit Union member fell victim to this scam. The fraudster emailed the member pretending to be from a commonly used organization (like Netflix or Amazon) and told the member the only way to fix the presented problem was to withdraw cash, buy gift cards, and provide the card numbers, all while staying on the phone! Unfortunately, the member obliged. When scams operate this way, it’s harder to dispute the claims and get your money back because the victim made the purchases with cash.
Be vigilant in verifying when contacted with an unexpected problem. If this happens to you, hang up immediately to remove yourself from the situation. Check out American 1 Credit Union’s Fraud Fighters page for more information and resources.
If you think you have been a victim of fraud, please contact your local police and report it immediately.