NEW YORK STATE POLICE
Major Todd O. Stratton
Troop C Commander
New York State Police are sending a reminder to the public. If someone calls, texts, emails or messages you on social media and asks you to send money in the form of a gift card, it’s probably a scam.
New York State Police continue to receive complaints of different scams that target people asking for money in the form of gift cards. The reason why they want money, always changes but it always ends with the scammer asking you to get a gift card. They often ask you to take a picture of the card showing the gift card number and ask for the PIN (if there’s one associated with the card). Once the scammer gets the money off the card, it’s gone and often without a trace.
Some of the scams include asking to help local small business, posing as a religious organization, claiming they’re from the IRS and you owe money, a loved one is in jail, saying you’ve won a prize, or sending a check asking to cash it.
If you or you know someone that paid with a gift card, call the card company and let them know the card was used in a scam – there may be a chance the money hasn’t been taken yet. The Federal Trade Commission does collect information about scams at ftc.gov/complaint. If you have lost money, contact your local law enforcement agency.