In a previous blog, we discussed various income tax return scams. Unfortunately, scammers are always looking for new ways to take advantage of people. One method is by pressuring them to purchase expensive gift cards as a form of payment and even going so far as selling fake cards online.
Some of these scammers also claim to be IRS employees or creditors who are owed money. We want our members to know that our Harlingen credit union never asks for gift cards as a form of payment and that all legitimate businesses don’t either.
Here is what you need to know about gift card scams.
How do These Scams Work?
Many scammers tend to contact victims by phone, email, or text message. Know that institutions like the IRS never contact people through these methods. Scammers will claim that you owe money for outstanding debts, late bills, or even fines. And as a form of payment, they’ll request a gift card.
As we mentioned before, no legitimate business, financial institution, or government body uses this method of payment. So, if you receive some sort of communication that isn’t through the mail or requests a gift card for payment, ignore it. And for peace of mind, reach out to our credit union in Brownsville for information on how to protect yourself from these scams.
Use Gift Cards Responsibly
If you plan to purchase a gift card for yourself, a family member, or a friend, then here are some tips to keep in mind:
- Keep the receipt
- Make note of the card number and make sure its PIN on the back isn’t scratched off
- Keep track of how much money is on the card if you don’t use it entirely
- Never purchase cards from auction websites like eBay since scammers tend to target buyers easily
- If you lose the card or if it’s stolen, notify the company or institution it was purchased from
Contact Our Credit Union in Harlingen
Learn more about how we protect your finances with our online banking services. Follow us on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram for information and news. Contact us online or call (956) 546-3108 for questions.