Sometimes it’s hard to tell what is a scam and what isn’t. But here’s an easy one to figure out – if someone is asking you to pay using a gift card, it’s always a scam.
Gift cards are being used as part of several different scams, including IRS, jury duty, and grandparentscams. When scammers ask for money or demand that you pay them, they’ll direct you to buy a set of gift cards. These gift cards can be for a range of stores or products, including Target, Best Buy, Sam’s Club, Amazon, iTunes, and Google Play. Then, they’ll ask you to give them the gift card number and PIN information from the back of the card. Once they have that information, they can spend your money using the gift cards.
These scammers can be incredibly difficult to track down, so if you’re asked to buy prepaid gift cards to pay for anything, don’t make the purchase. Report it to the North Carolina Department of Justice Consumer Protection Division by calling 1-877-5-NO-SCAM or by filing a complaint online.