Helpful Tips to Help Avoid Gift Card Fraud
GIFT CARD SCAMS
If you are being asked to buy a gift card to pay someone, STOP! It’s a scam.
Gift cards are for gifts, not payments. Anyone who demands payment by gift card is always a scammer. This includes a stranger or someone pretending to be a loved one who calls and says they are in trouble, who then ask you to provide gift card numbers to help them. Hang up and contact your loved one directly.
If you’re still feeling pressured into buying gift cards: STOP. HANG UP THE PHONE. Take a moment to calm down, and if you still have concerns look up the correct information for the company or agency before calling. Don’t always trust your caller ID. Scammers can manipulate a caller ID to look like a number of a friend, a legitimate company or government agency.
No legitimate company or agency will ever ask you to make a payment by gift card.
- The Canadian Government will never ask you to buy gift cards to pay taxes or make a payment. This includes the CRA.
- The police will never ask you to buy gift cards to pay a fine or help someone get out of jail. This includes a local police department or the RCMP.
- Banks will never ask you to buy gift cards to store your money Tech support from a company will never ask you to buy a gift card to pay to fix your computer.
- A legitimate business or professional will never demand gift cards for an emergency payment or to claim a prize.
Already Purchased Gift Cards As Part Of A Scam?
- STOP and don't go any further
- Do not text or send photos of the gift card numbers or the PINs that go with them.
- Do not read off the numbers to anyone.
- Contact your bank as soon as possible, using the number on the back of your debit or credit card.
FRAUDULENT GIFT CARDS
Don’t purchase a gift card if it appears that the packaging has been damaged, altered, or manipulated in any way. Select another gift card or ask someone who works at that store for help.
Many scammers create fake websites to steal the money on the card. Avoid clicking on links found on suspicious emails or website pop-up boxes. To check the balance on Canadian Tire gift cards, Call 1-800-387-8803, and enter Option 3.