Gift Card Scams focus of new A.G. video
LANSING – Michigan Attorney General Dana Nessel
The video, which is now available on the Department of Attorney General’s YouTube page, depicts a scam call that impersonates the Attorney General and describes a dire situation that can only be remedied by buying a gift card and providing its information to the caller – who was not, in fact, AG Nessel.
“Scam artists will call, text or email people trying to get them to buy a gift card and then ask for the gift card number over the phone,” Nessel said. “Remember, gift cards are for gifting, not for paying people. If someone asks for payment using a gift card from Amazon, Target or some other store, it’s a scam. Hang up or delete the message.”
Nessel has a few consumer alerts to help people protect themselves from such scams. The first is her Don’t Fall Victim to Gift Card Scams Consumer Alert. Once money is loaded onto a gift card and the numbers are provided to the requestor, these transactions cannot be reversed, making them a favorable avenue for bad actors who don’t want their scams traced.
Just yesterday, Nessel announced court action related to scammers pretending to offer AT&T DirecTV services. In that scam, the recipient is told an upfront cost needs to be paid by a pre-paid card in order to start the service.
In April, Nessel issued her Grandparent-Family Emergency Scam Consumer Alert. The scam often has ingredients that are similar to gift card scams. At that time, two mid-Michigan mothers each received calls from purported kidnappers demanding a ransom for their daughters’ return. In each instance, the caller knew the daughter’s name and demanded payment by wire. Both were scams.
The Department provides a library of resources for consumers to review anytime on a variety of topics.
Your connection to consumer protection is just a click or phone call away. Consumer complaints can be filed online at the Attorney General’s website, or if you have questions call 877-765-8388.