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Gift cards are popular and convenient … and not just for gifts. Con artists have latched onto gift cards as a convenient form of payment in their scams.
1. You’re directed to buy one or more gift cards — often referred to as “electronic vouchers” — as a quick means of making payment.
2. You’re told to share the numbers on the back of the gift cards, by reading them off or sending a picture.
3. The request comes from someone you wouldn’t expect to ask for money this way:
AARP survey finds some deceived into buying cards for strangers
Option 1: Report your encounter to the AARP Fraud Watch Network Helpline. You'll be able to speak to a fraud specialist and data from the Helpline will be shared with the Federal Trade Commission and used to identify trends and build cases against criminals.
Option 2: Report your encounter on the AARP Scam-Tracking Map. Your report will help warn others in your area.
Fraud Webinar: Gift Card Payment Scams
Join us May 6 for a webinar about how gift cards are used in scams
Ask the Fraud Expert
Amy Nofziger will answer questions on fraud
Knowledge gives you power over scams. The AARP Fraud Watch Network equips you with reliable, up-to-date insights, and our free fraud Helpline is available to help you and loved ones if you need it. We also advocate at the state, federal, and local levels to enact policy changes that protect consumers and enforce laws. With AARP as your partner, you’ll be better equipped to stay ahead of scammers.
Get the information you need to protect yourself
See scams in your area or report a gift card scam
Keep up with scams involving gift card payments
AARP is fighting for you: According to the Federal Trade Commission, gift cards are one of the most popular and convenient ways for scammers to request payment. AARP is committed to cutting off this source of criminal money transfer by helping consumers identify warning signs and working with retailers on how to spot and intervene in a crime involving gift cards.
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