Gift Card are more popular to scammers because they’re just like cash. Spending is anonymous and scammers don’t need the physical card to use them. They simply ask for the gift card number. Usually, scammers take advantage when a vast of people are rushing to shop online.
There are some types of scams that scammers attempt using Amazon gift cards.
You receive an unexpected/unsolicited email or text message from your pastor, professor or a your known one you are involved in requesting that you purchase Amazon Gift Cards and send the cards or the claim codes to a specific person to assist in COVID-19 treatments or efforts.
Job offer scams
You receive an unexpected phone call suggesting you apply for an Amazon job where you can work from home. You may be told that you can work your own hours, and make thousands of rupees a month. Once the scammer informs you that you’ve received a job offer, they may request that you pay a start-up fee or purchase a starter kit with Gift Cards.
Fake Online Listings Scam
You find an item advertised online such a vehicle, pet, or rental property and are instructed to make a payment using Amazon.com or other branded gift cards sold on Amazon, and provide your claim codes via email or phone. The item is often priced far below market value and the seller may claim they need to sell the item quickly because of a life event that creates a sense of urgency, such as moving, divorce, death of a loved one, or military deployment. The scammer also may claim that following a payment for the goods, you will receive the item and may even send a fake receipt.
You receive an unexpected/unsolicited email or text message from your boss or a leader in an organization you are involved in requesting that you purchase Amazon Gift Cards and send the cards or the claim codes to that person. Typically, the message will say that the gift cards will be used for some purpose within the company (e.g., employee incentives, client appreciation, charitable donations). The scammer may claim they are out of town, in a conference call, or otherwise engaged and that is why they need you to make the purchase for them.
Unsolicited phone call
You may receive an unsolicited call from someone stating they are a member of Amazon Customer Service. They may say your account is frozen and you need to purchase Amazon.com or other branded gift cards and provide the claim codes over the phone in order to remove the freeze on your account. Other things they might ask for are your Amazon password, full credit card ID or bank account number.
Family emergency scams
You receive an unexpected phone call or unsolicited email from an individual claiming to be a lawyer, law enforcement agent, hospital employee, or other representative for a family member in distress who needs your immediate financial help. Some callers may even try to impersonate your family member or friend. You may be instructed to purchase Amazon gift cards or another gift card brand sold on Amazon to resolve the situation.
Unpaid debt and tax scams
You receive an unexpected phone call or unsolicited email to make a payment for taxes, fines, bail money, utility bills, or other unexpected fees. The scammer may claim you owe a past due amount as a result of miscalculation of your taxes; or the scammer may claim that you are owed a tax refund, prize, or rebate but must first make a payment for administrative fees with a gift card.
Email or Text Scams
If you receive an email or text indicating that you have been given an Amazon gift card, take steps to verify that it is from Amazon. Customers can send gift cards via text message.
PRECAUTIONS FOR CITIZENS TO FOLLOW
- Don’t answer phone calls from numbers you don’t recognize and also block that number.
- Resist the urge to act immediately– no matter how dramatic the story is.
- Never provide the claim code on an Amazon gift card to someone you don’t know.
- If you receive an email from someone you don’t know, delete it. And report that suspicious E-mail in your inbox without opening them.
- Never assume anything online is true, as it may be an online scam.
- If you receive an email/call from someone such as your friend and they request gift cards, reach out to them directly to confirm their request.
- Don’t publish your email address or phone number publicly on social media, in forums, or anywhere online.
- Carefully check receive emails that it’s being sent from the correct email address of someone you know. Scammers will often have an address that looks accurate but is one or two letters off.
Always report any cybercrime to your nearest police station or alternatively report it on www.cybercrime.gov.in
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