Acting Major R. Christopher West
Troop G Commander
State Police would like to remind the public to use extra caution when asked to purchase gift cards for a third party via the internet. Investigators are currently handling multiple incidents in which the victim is asked to purchase gift cards as payment for goods or services, or to assist an individual falsely representing themselves as an associate of the victim. In these cases, the victim is asked to purchase gift cards from various retailers and then provide the serial number on the back of the card.
On June 26, 2020, a victim attempted to purchase an ATV via the internet. As payment, the victim was asked to purchase $1,000.00 of eBay gift cards and provide the seller with the serial numbers from the cards. The victim was then asked to purchase an additional $800.00 dollars in gift card as insurance. After receiving the serial number for the additional $800.00 from the victim, the seller ceased all contact.
In a separate incident on July 6, 2020, a victim was contacted via email by a scammer who claimed to be an associate of the victim’s, and asked for financial assistance to aid a local church. The victim was asked to purchase $500.00 in eBay gift cards with the belief that they would be reimbursed. After they purchased the cards and provided the serial numbers, they were solicited for more money. The total loss to the victim was $2,000.00.
State Police urge anyone who is asked to purchase gift cards for a third party to use extra caution, as they may be the target of a scam.
If you believe you may be the victim of a scam, please contact the New York State Police or local law enforcement.