GREENSBORO, N.C. — Hey, can you do me a favor? We hear this from family members, co-workers, friends.
It's common. One of my friends posted this on Facebook--- I'm starting to see a few friends e-mails and phones hacked lately. Always call to double check a request for a " favor" or to purchase gift cards for a friend. it's a scam! I received one and nearly fell for it and so did a family member.
Let me break down how it works.
It's an email from someone you know--- from their email address-- asking you to do a favor.
They say they are out of town -- out of the country on vacation. They forgot their family member's birthday --and could you please buy them a gift card. (You're thinking, maybe it's a card they can't get out of town, maybe not the same stores.)
In this case, the victim wanted to make sure it was his friend, and emailed him back. The scammer answered him from the same email he knew and so he bought the gift cards. Now this is where you know it's a scam.
When the scammer asked to have him scratch off the code-- he knew it was a scam. But he couldn't return the gift cards.
Take away: I hate we can't even believe our friend's emails anymore, but. Gift cards are usually a red flag. If you think they request is real-- find another way to communicate-- text, phone call, Facebook messenger.