Gift cards are always a GIFT, never a form of payment!
Gift card scams can cause significant repercussions for individuals, businesses, and the overall economy. With the global market for gift cards reaching a staggering value of $899.3 billion in 2022, it has become an immensely profitable target for scammers.
Those who fall victim to gift card scams endure both financial losses and emotional distress, with little to no possibility of recovering the funds lost in these fraudulent activities. Furthermore, these scams undermine trust in legitimate businesses, impeding their ability to function effectively.
As a consumer, it is crucial for you to remain vigilant and exercise caution when purchasing gift cards or encountering requests for gift card purchases. By adopting this proactive approach, you can help combat gift card scams and safeguard yourself from becoming a victim.
Three Widely Prevalent Gift Card Scams
- Payment Gift Card Scams: In this scam, fraudsters masquerade as legitimate businesses or organizations, deceiving individuals into buying gift cards as a form of payment. They exploit this method as a way to manipulate victims into resolving fabricated problems or emergencies.
- Zero-Value Gift Card Scams: Scammers employ various tactics, such as tampering with packaging or creating counterfeit websites, to sell used gift cards or drain the funds from legitimately purchased gift cards—whether acquired in-store or online.
- Free’ Gift Card Giveaway Scams: Operating under the guise of renowned brands or retailers, scammers falsely claim to offer free gift cards as part of a giveaway scheme. Their true intention is to obtain sensitive information from unsuspecting victims, which they then either sell on the dark web or employ for other illicit activities.