Scammers are getting smarter.
According to the FTC, there have been a number of instances of scammers getting people to pay them with gift cards from stores like Target, Walmart and CVS.
How do they manage to trick people? They take advantage of fear. They call unsuspecting victims claiming to be tech support or even a family member and convincing them that there is an emergency they need money for. Sometimes, victims are even told they owe taxes and will be arrested if they don’t pay immediately.
Once the worried victim has purchased the gift card and told the scammer the card number and pin, the scammer disappears, and the victim’s money is gone. After that point, if they realize they were scammed, it’s very hard to get their money back because gift cards are nearly untraceable.
Don’t be swindled by these people. The FTC says to remember that “anyone who demands payment by gift card is always, always, always a scammer.”