Warning about gift card scams in the run up to Christmas
We have recently been made aware of residents being asked to buy gift cards as a means to pay for debt or fines and we are urging residents to keep an eye out for friends or family members buying these cards in bulk
December 7th, 2020
The scam works when you receive a phone call from someone claiming to be from an official body or agency. The scammer might tell you that you owe money for unpaid bills, fines or tax. You might be told to pay the debt or fine with a gift cards.
Others have reported scam calls and emails claiming to be from family member in trouble. The scammer tells you that they need to be paid in gift cards in order to fix the problem. Once the gift cards are purchased, the scammer asks for the unique gift card number that they then will either sell on to someone else or use for their own gain. These gift cards can be purchased online or in shops. The most common cards asked for as part of the scam are:
- Google (to purchase apps, games and music via the Google Play store)
If anyone you know has purchased gift cards following a scam call, they may be able to contact the gift card issuer to report that they have been scammed and there is the possibility that the cards could be cancelled and refunds issued. This, however, is not guaranteed.
To report a scam of this nature please contact Citizens Advice Consumer Service on 0808 223 1133. Our Safeguarding Team will be made aware of any referrals made via this service.