Scam alert: How to protect yourself from gift card scammers that can hijack your computer

Scam alert: How to protect yourself from gift card scammers that can hijack your computer

CHICAGO (TOC) — Persons are getting fooled into sending criminals reward playing cards. The Federal Commerce Fee mentioned the rip-offs are on the rise.

A brand new survey by AARP discovered that one in three adults have been focused in a present card rip-off.

“As a result of I’ve a background in retail that sounded an alarm,” Gail Roberts instructed the I-Crew. She mentioned she stopped her husband from nearly sending $400 in reward playing cards to a scammer. “These are what it appears to be like like Google Play playing cards he purchased 4 at $400.”

It began when criminals satisfied him to provide them distant entry to his pc. They ended up hijacking it. They instructed him to purchase reward playing cards and ship the reward card numbers with a view to regain management of the pc.

“We all know that previously three or 4 years. Criminals have gotten lots higher at convincing those that they’ll use a present card to pay some debt that they make up,” mentioned Kathy Stokes, the director of Fraud Prevention Applications with AARP. That group performed a regarding survey exhibiting that 73 million Individuals have just lately skilled fraud involving reward playing cards. The Federal Commerce Fee mentioned $233 million was misplaced in 2021; a pointy improve from $125 million misplaced in 2020.

SEE ALSO | What’s ‘smishing’ and the right way to shield your self from this new sort of rip-off

“The aim of the scammer, we have discovered, is to get that particular person that they are reaching out to you right into a heightened emotional state instantly as a result of they know if they’ll get you there. You have got a very laborious time accessing your logical pondering,” mentioned Stokes.

Among the different frequent scams embody sending reward card cash to get so referred to as lottery winnings. Or, the scammer can pose as a trusted group member who desperately wants reward card cash.

“None of us would instantly suppose that that is fraud. We’re simply going to attempt to be useful. And so we purchase these playing cards and the cash’s gone,” Stokes defined.

Roberts’ husband ended up regaining entry to his pc by going to a tech skilled. She mentioned she desires shops which promote third occasion reward playing cards to do extra.”The individuals which are on the level of sale, want to coach, when somebody is available in and asks for tons of of {dollars} of the identical reward card and even quite a lot of reward playing cards, they need to ask them is that this a present for somebody, you realize?” Roberts mentioned.

Regardless that the cash remains to be on the playing cards, the shop won’t take them again, so she is going to give them away.

“A scammer didn’t get the cash and we’ll make lemonade out of lemons,” Roberts mentioned.

AARP and different client consultants mentioned the simplest approach to keep away from these elaborate scams is to recollect to by no means pay anybody with a present card.

AARP’s indicators to look at for: https://www.aarp.org/cash/scams-fraud/gift-card-payment/

FTC’s Client recommendation on reward card scams: https://client.ftc.gov/articles/gift-card-scams

Copyright © 2022 TOC-TV. All Rights Reserved.

About Muji Sakawari

Check Also

Chicago guaranteed income pilot program receives 176K applications

Chicago guaranteed income pilot program receives 176K applications

CHICAGO (TOC) -- Chicago mentioned 176,000 households utilized for the town's first-ever assured revenue program.Town estimates that about 5,000 low-income households will profit from the Chicago Resilient Communities Pilot Program.Town [...]