How to avoid gift card scams during the season of giving

You might be buying a lot of gift cards this holiday season but have you ever been asked to pay with one? Here is a quick tip to avoid gift card scams during the season of giving.

New data from the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) shows that in 2021, nearly 40,000 consumers reported losing $148 million where gift cards were used to pay scammers

The FTC says:

  • Don't give away the gift card number: Gift card scammers ask you to pay by putting money on a gift card and giving them the numbers on the back of the card. Gift cards are like cash; once the money is used it's gone for good.

  • Hang up or block suspicious callers: No real business or government agency will ever call and ask you to pay a bill or balance with a gift card.

  • Don't act quickly: Scammers will try to pressure you into taking quick action. If a caller is trying to scare you into making payments using gift cards, it's best to take a breathe and hang up.

  • And remember: Gift cards are only for gifts and merchandise, not payments
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