Experts provide tips to avoid gift card scams

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Published: Nov. 17, 2023 at 10:32 PM CST
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LAKE CHARLES, La. (KPLC) - In a new report, the Better Business Bureau says people should be extra cautions for scams involving gift cards. Scammers sometimes take gift cards for payment which can take people by surprise if they are unaware of the tactic.

Research from the BBB shows the use of gift cards as a form of payment in 2023 has risen by 50% from the same time period recorded in 2022.

“It can come from anything. From online purchases to government imposture scams to marketplace transactions,” said Angela Guth, Better Business Bureau SWLA CEO. “Anytime that there is a gift card that is requested in a form of payment you need to stop and question whether or not this is legitimate or is it a scam.”

Scammers strategically put products on market place and other sites that are hard to find, especially during the holidays.

“Around the holidays there are products that parents are looking for for their kids and so scammers are really on to this,” said Guth.

A BBB report recommends keeping an eye out for several activities that may be setting you up to be scammed:

  • Online sellers, businesses, or government entities asking for gift cards to be used as payment.
  • Cold calls on overdue tax payments.
  • High-pressure scams dealing with legal problems.
  • Requests for payment related to services or items with unrelated gift cards.
  • People asking for a number or PIN over the phone or through email.
  • Promises for reimbursement via check.
  • Messages from a superior at work asking for gift card purchases.

“Most of the time, if it’s too good to be true, it usually is,” said Guth.