Gift Card Scam
The use of gift cards to steal money from consumers has become prevalent nowadays. Be mindful that this scam takes many forms, but for now, our focus is on the Pay the IRS with Gift Cards Scam.
How it Works
- A caller pretends to be from the Internal Revenue Service (IRS).
- With an intimidating approach, the scammer accuses the victim of tax evasion.
- The fraudster informs the victim to pay with gift cards to avoid imprisonment.
- These scammers know that once you buy gift cards with your debit or credit card, Visa can no longer take action or block the transaction when you file a fraud case with your financial institution.
The Red Flags
Know the telltale signs of these scammers.
- The IRS will never call you.
- The IRS will never ask for gift cards as a mode of payment.
- An intimidating voice is used by scammers to put you in a state of panic.
How to Outsmart Them
- Be cautious when dealing with a phone caller, asking you to pay with gift cards.
- Hang up the phone immediately.
- Never open any suspicious-looking emails pretending to be from the IRS.
If You Become a Victim
If this happens to you, immediately reach out to the gift card provider and inform them of the situation.