The Maryland State Police Princess Anne Barrack has seen a rise in gift card scams, mainly targeting the elderly.
Most often, consumers that use gift cards to pay a scammer are drawn in by an imposter scam. These can take on many forms, but the ones most likely to rely on gift cards as a payment method were government imposters, family imposters, business imposters, and tech support scams.
In these scams, the scammers convince consumers that they must pay using gift cards. The reasons they present vary, but they always come back to the idea that a consumer must go to a retail outlet, purchase physical gift cards, and then provide the PIN numbers on the cards to the scammer. Reports suggest scammers favor certain brands of gift cards, and those change over time.
DO NOT USE A GIFT CARD to pay the IRS or Social Security, tech support, a family member in trouble, ransom or to avoid arrest or deportation, a member of the military, or to keep your utilities on.
Anyone who encounters one of these scams should report the fraud to The Maryland State Police Princess Anne Barrack at 443-260-3700.