Skip to main content Go to Online Banking

Keep Your Money Safe from Gift Card Scammers

Scammers are continuously looking for ways to take advantage of unsuspecting consumers to get your money and your personal or financial information. With the holiday season upon us and the popularity of gift cards for that person that is impossible to buy for, gift card scams are definitely something to be on the watch for. 

According to the Federal Trade Commission (FTC), gift card scams often start with a call, text, email, or social media message. It’s usually for something urgent and they want you to pay right away. Scammers might say they’re from the government or a company you know. Or, thanks to AI voice cloning, they might even sound just like the friend or family member they call pretending to be, asking you to send money to fix their emergency. No matter what they say, it’s a trick to get you to go to a store, put money on a gift card, and give them the numbers. It’s a scam.

To keep your money safe from scammers during the holidays, only buy gift cards that you intend to give as gifts. Do not buy gift cards because you have received a call, text, email, or other communication from someone asking you to do so.

If you are purchasing a gift card online, always go directly to the merchant’s official website or physical location. Avoid too-good-to-be-true gift card deals promoted on unknown websites or social media. And if you are purchasing a physical gift card in-store, be sure to inspect the gift card to make sure scammers haven’t tampered with the card by adding stickers printed with barcodes over the top of the card’s real barcode and make sure the packaging hasn’t been ripped or torn to expose the card PIN or barcode is exposed. If anything looks suspicious, take a different card and turn in the suspicious card to the store’s service desk.

And with any gift card, treat it like cash. If the card is lost or stolen, or if you accidentally gave a gift card to a scammer, act fast and report it to the gift card merchant or company immediately. Most issuers have a toll-free number online or on the back of the card.

Some content requires Adobe Acrobat Reader to view.