How To Avoid Being a Victim of Gift Card Scams

Keep an eye out for these common signs of a gift card scam.

Written By Matthew Monagle (Member Support)

Updated at May 26th, 2023

Gift cards may seem like a pretty innocent way to move money between acquaintances, but there is a darker side to Amazon and Best Buy cards. Because gift cards are very similar to money - easy to spend and hard to trace - many scammers launch complex campaigns to get unsuspecting people to send them high-dollar gift cards. In this article, we'll explain how to avoid gift card scams and what to do if you've been a victim.

Key Takeaways:

  • Gift card scams are extremely common. Never make a payment with a gift card.
  • If you have been the victim of a gift card scam, contact our team at (512) 836-5901.
  • Visit the Federal Trade Commission website for more information on gift card scams.

What is a gift card scam?

One of the most common types of fraud is gift card scam. This is when someone contacts you and tells you that you have either won or owe a large amount of money and can only transfer those funds with a gift card purchase. These phone calls can appear to come from an employer, the government, a major retailer, or other organizations.

As a general rule of thumb: if someone calls or emails you and asks you to make a payment with gift cards, STOP. You are about to be the victim of a gift card scam.

What do I do after a failed gift card scam attempt?

If you have granted a third-party access to any of your bank accounts, it is important that you change your passwords immediately. It is also a good idea to set up two-factor authorization (if available) for each of your financial institutions. Finally, notify Amplify's contact center via chat or at (512) 836-5901. Notifying us of active instances of gift card scams will make it easier for our team to support others who may be experiencing the same problems.

What do I do after a successful gift card scam?

First, make sure that you keep any receipts or proof of purchase of the gift cards. Then, report the scam to the gift card issuer as quickly as possible. The Federal Trade Commission keeps a contact list for most major retailers. If your gift card issuer is not included on that list, visit the company's website to find their direct contact information and follow the steps outlined there.

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