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Gift Card Scams

March 25, 2021

A Message for our valued members:

Unfortunately, financial fraud and suspicious activity are a part of our world. This includes scams, phishing emails, and other schemes to solicit your sensitive data including account information. Recently, we have received communications regarding an increase in a scheme involving gift card purchases.

While the latest is focused on Microsoft, past schemes have included Amazon, Walmart and other well-known merchants. In this current scheme, a caller pretending to be someone from Microsoft requesting access to an individual’s computer to fix a glitch. Once they have remote access, they ask the individual to log onto their online banking accounts. Usually, the fraudster transfers money around to make it initially appear to the individual that the fraudster has deposited funds into the individual’s checking account.

Once the money is in the checking account, the fraudster requests that the individual go purchase gift cards and then provide the fraudster with the gift card numbers. Once the gift card numbers are provided to the fraudsters, the money is essentially gone. This type of fraud is not protected so there is little or nothing that your financial institution can do to recover the funds.

Oftentimes, fraudsters are preying upon vulnerable individuals who are trusting and more likely to comply with the request. If you have a vulnerable relative, neighbor or friend, please encourage them to call their financial institution and never give out or allow access to their financial account information, especially to a stranger.

Remember, the best way to handle unsolicited phone calls or emails is to hang up or delete the message. When in doubt, call the financial institution or merchant directly to verify information. This could help protect you and/or someone you know from being a victim.

Town & Country Federal Credit Union cares about your financial wellness and is committed to offering tips to help protect you.

Please reach out to us at 800.649.3495; or email anytime with any questions or for assistance.

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