Main Menu Back to Page
{ Banner Image }

Gift Cards: A New Kind of Scam

Lady on PhoneGift cards; while they are a great means of acknowledging someone's birthday, anniversary, or simply to say "thank you," they are also rapidly becoming a means for con artists to scam unsuspecting individuals, especially seniors. 

The Scenario: You receive a call from someone claiming to be from the IRS. They say that you owe hundreds or even thousands in back taxes. However they claim to have a solution for you to avoid penalties or even jail time. All you have to do is put 'X' amount of money onto a gift card (such as iTunes or Google Play), read the code on the cards to them over the phone, and they will accept payment that way. You hang up the phone thinking that you have dodged a bullet, but in reality you have just been scammed out of money, as there is little to no way to trace the cards or to retrieve the money.

Gift cards are a perfect means for conning unsuspecting people as they are nearly untraceable, instantly redeemable, and are more easily transferable than cash. If you receive a call similar to this, when in doubt, one thing to remember is that gift cards cannot and will not be used by government officials to pay off taxes, fines, or bail. 

For more on how fraudsters are using gift cards to scam people, check out these two articles from AARP: 

  • How Gift Card Scams Are Used to Finance Fraud
    • This article describes this growing trend, including a real scenario in which someone was nearly conned. 
  •  Gift Card Scams
    • This article talks about how scammers are infiltrating retail stores where gift cards are sold and also provides warning signs along with do's and don'ts that you should adhere to, to avoid potential scams.

Scammers are becoming more creative and nothing is off limits to them. If you have further questions about how to make sure you or a senior family member is not being taken advantage of, contact a Foster Swift elder law attorney.

Categories: Did you Know?, Digital Assets, Elder Law, Fraud & Abuse, Senior Exploitation & Abuse


Type the following characters: three, six, tango, niner, mike

* Indicates a required field.

Subscribe to RSS»
Get Updates By Email:

Need Help Planning Your Estate?

Don't know where to turn? Click here to view/download the Foster Swift estate planning brochure to see what our experienced team of attorneys can do for you.

E-book Covers Estate Planning Essentials

Engaging in estate planning, while essential, is often emotional and generates many questions. How do I protect my spouse and my children if something happens to me? What happens if I become disabled before I pass on? Who will take care of my pet after I'm gone? How do I pass my business on to my children? These questions and more are addressed in Jonathan David’s recently released e-book, “Estate Planning: You Have to Start in Order to Finish.”

Meet the Team

Foster Swift Elder Law Team
Watch attorneys Matthew Fedor, Trevor Weston and Nicolas Camargo explain a brief overview of elder law and how it can help either your or your loved ones.