Gift cards are for gifts, not payments

The Louisiana State Police offer some cybersecurity tips: Gift cards are for gifts, not payments.

“Anytime someone tells you to pay for something with a gift card, it’s a scam. Gift cards are popular with scammers because they’re easy to find and buy,” police said. of state. “They offer fewer buyer protections than some other payment options. They’re more like cash: once you use a gift card, the cash on it is gone. Stay alert.”

Here are some tips offered by LSP that can help you spot a gift card scheme:

1. Someone calls as a government “agent” asking you to pay taxes or fees with a gift card.

2. Someone calls tech support, reporting a problem with your computer, and you have to pay them to get it fixed. This is a lie!

3. You meet someone special on a dating site and he asks you for help and then pressures you to send him gift cards.

4. The scammer pretends to be an emergency friend or family member and asks you to send money immediately via a gift card.

5. Someone says you’ve won a prize, but you must first pay a fee or other charge with a gift card in order to claim that prize.

6. The caller says they are with your utility company. They threaten to cut off your service (electricity, gas, water) if you don’t pay immediately.

7. You get a check from someone and it’s written for more than expected and they request the difference through a gift card.

If you are the victim of a gift card scam, please contact your local police department or sheriff’s office.

Michael N. Clark