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Beware of Gift Card Scams

Publish Date:04/04/2018 1:00 PM

Since the beginning of the year, the Clayton Police Department has investigated three cases in which the victim was contacted via phone call, text message, email or social media and was instructed to purchase a specific amount of gift cards in order to eliminate a debt or claim a prize. The explanation for the gift card purchase and the type of card (iTunes, Amazon, Target, etc.) requested may change from one report to the next but the basic elements remain the same.

Each time, the scammer created a sense of urgency in their communications and set a deadline for the victim to meet in order to claim their winnings or avoid legal action by local law enforcement. Once the gift cards were obtained, the victim was instructed to provide the card number and pin to the scammer, giving the scammer complete access to the monetary value of the gift card.

We would like to stress that gift cards can only be used for the store or online goods they are intended for. The IRS and utility companies WILL NOT accept gift cards as a form of payment. You should never send money, gift cards or make a wire transfer in order to receive a prize. If it sounds too good to be true it likely is! Lastly, please do not hesitate to contact the police department with any concerns.

For more information on scams involving iTunes gift cards please visit: https://support.apple.com/itunes-gift-card-scams

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