Gift Card Scams and What You Can Do.

If you are being asked to buy a gift card to pay someone, STOP! It’s a scam.

Gift Cards are for gifts, NOT Payments.  Anyone who demands payment via gift cards of any kind is a SAMMER!

If you feel any type of pressure to purchase gift cards: STOP, HANG UP THE PHONE.  Take a moment to verify if there is a problem.  If they stated they are from Canada Revenue Agency, call them directly at 1 800 959 8281 – the legitimate phone number, to verify if there is an issue.  Never use the contact information provided in an email or over the phone, this is likely redirected to another scammer trying to get your Social Insurance Number and other pertinent details about you.

Know that no legitimate company or agency will ever ask you to make a payment by a gift card.  This includes the government and related agencies, the police, the banks, any “tech support” or border security – which I still receive calls from at least 4 times a week from, threatening my arrest!  lol… I keep telling them to send someone cute to arrest me, I am still waiting. 🙂

 

If you have already purchased gift cards as part of a scam…

Stop and do not go any further.  Do not contact them back, do not send text or photos of the gift cards or the PINs that go with them.  Do not read off the numbers to anyone!

Contact your bank as soon as possible using the number on the back of your debit or credit card immediately to report it and look at your options.

 

Protect yourself from scams and fraud.

Here is the link to the Government of Canada Anti-Fraud Centre; https://www.antifraudcentre-centreantifraude.ca/scams-fraudes/index-eng.htm

It lists a number of scams that have been reported by businesses and individuals and the numerous ways they work.  If you have fallen victim, do not beat yourself up as the scammers are professionals and it is so easily done.  But contact a reputable credit score company like Equifax or Transunion to monitor if there has been activity, loans, credit card applications, etc. under your name.  Keep an eye out for credit card applications in your name that you did not apply for.

If your identity has been compromised, go to https://www.cleo.on.ca/en/publications/idtheft/what-can-i-do-if-i-am-victim-identity-theft

For more information on how to protect your identity, go to; https://www.ic.gc.ca/eic/site/Oca-bc.nsf/eng/ca03025.html

The security of your business and personal information is key to your future!

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