GREENSBORO, N.C. — The gift card is a common gift for birthdays, Christmas, or just because. What if the gift card comes from someone you don't know???
WFMY News 2 viewers Marvin and Valorie emailed 2 Wants To Know:
I received a Vanilla gift card worth $400. It was sent with a UPS tracking number. Unsure why someone would send me money in this way? Is this a scam?
It could be. 2WTK found this post from Rick's Daily Tips. He details how it could work:
The scammer gets names and addresses off other sites
The gift card comes with a letter and a link to “activate” the card
That “activation link” asks for information like your name, date of birth, social security number. Everything an identity thief needs.
Now that you know how THAT scam works, let me remind you of this: No one takes payment by a gift card. No one.
If you get a call saying you missed a bill payment, you didn't pay your taxes on time, you forgot to show up for jury duty, and to make it right, you need to pay the bill or fine by gift card…it’s a SCAM.
Anytime you're asked to pay for something using a gift card, it is always, always a scam.
The North Carolina Attorney General is now in talks with retail merchants and the Association of Retailers to train store clerks to be the first line of defense.
“In previous years we've seen them use money transmitters like Western Union and so we've done a lot of work with Western Union and bank tellers to educate them about what to look for so they can intervene and say, ‘Are you sure this is for a legitimate purpose?’. I believe that kind of knowledge would benefit store clerks because that way they could look out for their customers,” said Stein.
But if no one asks you, ‘Is this legitimate?’, know this for sure,