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Friday October 23, 2020 Salt Lake City, UT

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Beware of Paying Scammers With Gift Cards

Friday March 27, 2020
Image shows a 4 foot high display featuring all kinds of different gift cards.

Gift cards are for gifts, NOT payments.

Gift cards are a popular and convenient way to give someone a gift. They’re also a popular way for scammers to steal money from you.

That’s because gift cards are like cash: if you buy a gift card and someone uses it, you probably cannot get your money back.

Gift cards are for gifts, not payments. Anyone who demands payment by gift card is always a scammer.

Anyone who demands payment by gift card is always a scammer.

Does This Happen in Utah? Yes.

Two recent news articles show that yes, this does happen here in Utah. Read about one woman who lost $11,000 paying scammers with gift cards and another woman who had scammers impersonate her boss while trying to get her to pay them with gift cards.

What If You Paid a Scammer With a Gift Card?

If you paid a scammer with a gift card, tell the company that issued the card right away. When you contact the company, tell them the gift card was used in a scam. Ask them if they can refund your money. If you act quickly enough, the company might be able to get your money back. Also, tell the store where you bought the gift card as soon as possible. 

Below is a list of cards that scammers often use – with information to help report a scam. If the card you used is not on this list, you might find the gift card company’s contact information on the card itself, or you might need to do some research online. The FTC will update this list as new information becomes available.

Report scams

Amazon

  • Call 1 (888) 280-4331 
  • Learn about about Amazon gift card scams here.

Google Play

  • Call 1 (855) 466-4438
  • Report gift card scams online here.
  • Learn about Google Play gift card scams here.

iTunes

  • Call Apple Support at 1-800-275-2273, then say “gift card” to be connected to a live representative.
  • Learn about iTunes gift card scams and how to report them here.

Steam

  • If you have a Steam account, you can report gift card scams online here.
  • Learn about Steam gift card scams here.

MoneyPak

  • Call 1 (866) 795-7969
  • Report a MoneyPak card scam online here.

Don’t see your card on this list? Search online for how to reach that card issuer. Is there no contact information available? Is the card issuer reluctant to help? And did you lose money to a scammer? Tell your fraud story to the FTC.

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