GREENSBORO, N.C. — The number one scam in North Carolina according to AARP is identity theft followed closely by imposter scams. No matter who you are, scammers are out to get your money and you need to know the warning signs.
Kathleen Stokes, the AARP director of fraud prevention programs, answers your questions.
Typical scenario: impersonators
- Government, Tech company, Publishers Clearinghouse, Business opportunity, Online love interest, Grandchild…
- The target of the scam is pushed into a heightened emotional state
- Fear, Excitement, Love
- The scammer convinces the quickest option is to purchase gift cards
- Read me the numbers off the back
- Take a picture and share
Why gift cards?
- Virtually untraceable
- Readily converted to cash or bitcoin
- Ability to move large amounts of money in small parcels
The Bottom Line
Anytime you are directed to pay with a gift card, it is a scam.
If it happens:
- Contact the issuing company right away
- Keep the card and receipt
- Tell the store where you bought it
Report it to the FTC: reportfraud.ftc.gov or call the AARP Fraud Helpline, 877-908-3360