Gift Card Scams Expected to Ramp Up During the Holiday Season

Gift cards can be an easy gift to give during the
holidays, but they also continue to be a way for scammers to try and steal
money from victims. Michelle Reinen with the state’s Consumer Protection Bureau
tells us gift cards remain the top reported method of payment for impostor
scams – and that it’s important to keep an eye out for them this time of the
year. “Gift cards are for giving, not for making payments,” Reinen said. “That’s
now how businesses do business – don’t fall for the gift card scam aspects of
things because it will be ramped up during the holidays.”

Reinen tells us that scammers are most commonly telling
people to buy gift cards for ITunes and Google Play – then ask the victim to read
them the card codes over the phone. She says if someone calls with a seemingly
convincing story and tries to pressure you to pay them by gift card, to hang
up, because it is a scam. If you paid money to a scammer with a gift card, its
recommended you report it as soon as possible to the card company.