Gift card scams are a real and growing issue. Without knowing the facts, customers can easily fall victim to one of these costly scams. As a customer of Best Buy, your protection is of our utmost concern, so we’ve put together the following tips and resources to help keep you safe from possible future scams.
What is gift card fraud?
Most gift card fraud happens when a scammer, disguised as a reputable entity or family member, calls someone and asks them to pay taxes, hospital bills, bail, and even utility bills with gift cards.
Common gift card scams involve a call from someone claiming to be from the IRS or a government agency, who states that the victim owes the agency money. Another common scam takes place when victims are told that a loved one needs help and that gift cards will get them out of trouble.
Remember: Neither the IRS nor any other government entity will ever request payment over the phone, and they will NOT request payment in the form of gift cards.
How to avoid a gift card scam.
- Only use Best Buy gift cards at a Best Buy retail location or online at BestBuy.com. Best Buy gift cards cannot be used to pay bills, bail or taxes.
- Never share a gift card or PIN over the phone or online, especially with someone you don't know.
- If someone calls you claiming a loved one of yours is in trouble, hang up and contact your loved one directly.
- Do not purchase a gift card if it looks as if it's been tampered with, or if the PIN is exposed.
- Report any suspicious calls or concerns to the local authorities.
Spread the word. Stop the scam.
Watch a brief video with information to help protect you from gift card scams.
To learn more about gift card fraud, check out these resources:
Federal Trade Commission (FTC)
Internal Revenue Service (IRS)
National Consumers League
If you feel you've been a victim of fraud, contact your local law enforcement, the consumer protection division of your state's Attorney General or the Federal Trade Commission at www.ftc.gov/complaint.