Gift card fraud

According to new data, millions of pounds are lost each year in gift card scams, and this time of year is a particular risk point.

Scams demanding gift cards often begin with a phone call from someone impersonating a well-known business. For instance, victims have reported that a scammer pose as an Amazon or Apple employee requesting pictures of the numbers on gift cards in order to fix a security problem with their account. Once they have the information the gift card can be cleared in seconds.

Other victims have reported that a scammer claiming to be from a Government tax dept have said their bank accounts would be frozen as part of an investigation, and that they should buy gift cards to secure access to their money.

Fraudsters seem to prefer certain gift cards with Google Play, Apple and Ebay proving popular. And to make matters worse, stolen gift cards are typically spent before they are received as gifts, meaning many may have unintentionally given zero-balance gift cards as presents.

Be aware! Check with your own bank or online retail account details direct rather than a website or link given to you via phone or email, no matter how authentic it looks.

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