Law enforcement asking people to be wary of gift card scams
WORCESTER COUNTY, Md. – You might be already busy holiday shopping. But, are you prepared to protect yourself from scams? Recently, scammers have been using gift cards to cheat people out of their money. The most common scheme is that scammers will ask for payment via gift card when purchasing from online personal electronics companies or name brand big box stores. That can include things like cell phones or computers.
Worcester County Sheriff Matt Crisafulli says no reputable company will ever ask for payment in the form of a gift card. “That is almost always a scam. Companies will never ask for payment with a gift card number,” he said. “When people are making purchases we encourage them to go to trusted websites. Never make purchases through emails that you receive with links to click on. To err on the side of caution or to try and minimize the chances of falling victim to a scam, if you’re making a purchase, go to a store.”
If you’re online shopping, law enforcement also recommends making purchases through the website of reputable stores, and not through emails advertising deals that are not from the companies themselves. It’s also recommended that you have up to date anti-virus software on your computer.
Another tip you can use to protect yourself is not to let fraudsters threaten, scare, or manipulate you into only using gift cards as payment. Plus, you should contact your local law enforcement if you think you’re being scammed.