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Article on Medium: Don’t Fall for the Gift Card Scam
From:
Gini Graham Scott, Ph.D., J.D. -- Author of Fifty Books Gini Graham Scott, Ph.D., J.D. -- Author of Fifty Books
Lafayette, CA
Tuesday, December 28, 2021


The Beginning of a Gift Card Scam
 

Just in time for the holiday season, author Gini Graham Scott has written about another scam that has cost consumers and retailers millions -- the great  Gift Card scam, in which scammers get victims to buy gift cards and then give them the card numbers and PIN numbers, so the scammers can use the cards.  Plus many scammers tamper with the cards in the stores, so about 20% of the cards customers buy no longer have money on them.  And the statistics only show the reported scams -- just a fraction of the problem.  The article describes reg flags of a scam to avoid and what to do if a victim.

Here's the beginning of the article. For the full article you can visit: https://tinyurl.com/2p9h4w58

The gift card scam has become a big business, especially during the holiday season, when many people are thinking of giving gift cards family members and friends. After all, a gift card enables the recipient to get whatever gift desired, while it saves the buyer from having to find a gift, wrap it up, and send it, without knowing if it's what the recipient really wants.  So it seems like the perfect solution for gift giving, and hundreds of retailers offer these cards.

Well, think again, because you could easily get defrauded in what has become a big scam industry. In the first 9 months of 2021, 40,000 consumers who filed complaints with the Federal Trade Commission about gift card payment scams lost $148 million, according to an AARP article on "Gift Card Scams."  And that loss is just for reported scams to the FTC.  Certainly, the amount of fraud is much more, since the majority of fraud incidents are not reported to the government, according to the FTC. 

While many of these scams involve a few hundred dollars or less from a single gift card, some victims have lost thousands of dollars, and the median amount lost to gift scammers was $1000, according to a December 9, 2021 Forbes article by Lisa Rowan: "Gift Card Scams Spiked in 2021. Here's How to Avoid Getting Duped." Moreover, the problem is much larger than officially reported, since less than 5% of gift card scam victims report the crime.  And the amount scammed can over $5000 -- even as much as $20,000 or more -- for some victims, who have fallen for scammers telling them they need to buy many gift cards right away because of some emergency, such as their credit card being hacked, so they have to buy gift cards before their balance is wiped clean. 

 

Some Examples of Scam Victims

That's what happened to one retired 75-year-old man in Arkansas, who spent $35,000 on gift cards in three days by buying 70 gift cards worth $500 each from six retailers -- Lowe's, Walmart, Sephora, Best Buy, Sam's Club, and Target, according to a January 13, 2020 article on AARP by Katherine Skiba: "3 Harrowing Days: Fraudsters Rip Off Retiree for $35,000 in Gift Cards

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The author is internationally published author and film producer, Gini Graham Scott, PhD, who has published over 200 books, 50 for traditional publishers and 150 for her own company Changemakers Publishing, specializing in books on self-help, popular business, and social issues. She is the author of The Big Con: Scams Targeting Writers, the Victims, and How to Avoid Becoming a Victim and I Was Scammed about all types of scams and how to avoid them. She has written and executive produced 18 feature films and documentaries, featured on the www.changemakersproductionsfilms.com website.  An inspiration for this article is that Changemakers Productions is now raising money for its first horror film Dark Cabin, which features 6 friends on a vacation up against Viking ghosts. It's filming in the New York area in February 2022, and other horror films are planned.  She also writes books and scripts for clients.  Her website for writing is at www.changemakerspublishingandwriting.com.

 

            For more information or to set up an interview, contact:

 

Karen Andrews

Executive Assistant to Gini Graham Scott

Changemakers Publishing and Writing

Lafayette, CA 94549 . (925) 385-0608 

changemakers@pacbell.net

www.changemakerspublishingandwriting.com

News Media Interview Contact
Name: Gini Graham Scott, Ph.D., J.D.
Title: Director
Group: Changemakers Publishing and Writing
Dateline: Lafayette, CA United States
Direct Phone: 925-385-0608
Main Phone: 925-385-0608
Cell Phone: 510-919-4030
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