What are gift card scams, and how to avoid them

One of the most well-liked holiday presents is a gift card. Scammers have devised methods to deplete those cards before you even give them away because of their popularity.



  • What is a gift card fraud?
  • How do gift card frauds work?
  • What warning signs are there of gift card fraud?
  • How can you avoid gift card scams?


What is a gift card fraud?

Scams involving gift cards involve tricking people into buying them and handing over sensitive information like the card’s PIN or code.

In order to trick victims into giving them gift card information, fraudsters employ a variety of tactics, such as romance swindles, technical support hoaxes, and fraudulent prize offers. Once they have the card information, fraudsters can use gift cards to make illegal purchases or sell them on the black market.

In order to establish rapport with their victims, con artists, for instance, may create phony profiles on dating websites or social media platforms. The victim is then asked for money and personal information, and they tell the victim that it is necessary to pay for a meeting or an emergency.

In a similar vein, con artists may pretend to be tech support representatives in order to deceive victims into thinking that their devices have viruses or malware on them. The victim is instructed to purchase a gift card to pay for the repair.

Crypto gift card scams are similar to traditional gift card scams, except that instead of gift cards, the scammers use cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin (BTC), Ether (ETH), and other altcoins. By promising a reward, prize, or investment opportunity, the perpetrators of these scams deceive victims into sending cryptocurrency.

Phishing websites, fake social media profiles, and other devious tactics can be used by criminals to gain the trust of their victims. 

After receiving the cryptocurrency, scammers vanish, leaving victims with no way to get their money back. Practicing wariness and leading business with solid and believed sources is essential while working with cryptographic forms of money.

6 common cryptocurrency scams in 2023


How do gift card frauds work?

Scammers can use cryptocurrency gift cards to turn stolen money into a currency that cannot be tracked and is anonymous.

On Telegram, con artists posing as traders or investors offer substantial investment returns using gift cards. Through social media, they frequently approach victims who are unaware of their existence and offer to sell cryptocurrencies at a discount or guarantee that their investments will double in value.

The con artist will ask the victim to purchase gift cards and provide a code in order to complete the transaction, promising that the codes will be used to buy cryptocurrencies. However, once the con artist obtains the gift card numbers, they vanish, leaving the victim with worthless cards.

Here’s an example of how a gift card scam typically takes place:

Step 1: Scammers begin by creating a fake website or social media account to advertise a cryptocurrency giveaway or investment opportunity.

Step 2: The con artist says that participants will get a lot of cryptocurrencies in exchange for a small amount of money that would be needed to fund the investment or verify their identity.

Step 3: The con artist requests that the deposit be made with a gift card, such as an iTunes or Amazon gift card, in order to comply with regulatory requirements.

Step 4: Once the victim provides the details of the gift card, the con artists vanish, and the victim never receives the cryptocurrency that was promised to her.

Step 5: In this step, the gift voucher basically fills in as the agitators’ method for changing over the taken cash into an imperceptible and unknown type of cash, making it trying for casualties to recover their misfortunes.

Don’t ever give someone you don’t know or trust the details of a gift card because scammers frequently use this method to steal cryptocurrency.


What warning signs are there of gift card fraud?

Gift card fraud involving cryptocurrencies can be difficult to spot, but there are some warning signs that you should be aware of to protect yourself.

When a con artist makes dubious claims about large returns with little to no risk, it is one of the most common warning signs. Despite the fact that this is not the norm for reputable investors or businesses, scammers frequently demand payment in gift cards, such as Amazon or iTunes.

They might also instill a sense of urgency in the victim, compel them to act without first confirming the offer’s legitimacy. Additionally, unwelcome communications, requests for personal information, and a lack of background information regarding the sender or business are all warning signs of gift card fraud.

In order to make it more difficult for the victim to comprehend the procedure and arouse suspicion, bad actors may request unusual or complicated transactions that require multiple steps. They might, for instance, request that the victim transfer cryptocurrency to an obscure wallet address or request multiple gift cards of various denominations. Any transaction that appears overly complicated or difficult to comprehend should be avoided.

In their correspondence, scammers frequently use incorrect grammar and spelling, indicating that they are either not native speakers of the language or professionals. In addition, scammers may fail to disclose sufficient information about themselves, their business, or the investment opportunity, making it difficult for victims to conduct due diligence and make informed decisions.

Be careful about the Ponzi scheme!


How can you avoid gift card scams?

It is essential to exercise caution and take the time to confirm the legitimacy of any investment opportunity before engaging in any transactions, including conducting due diligence on the individual or company behind it.

One can play it safe to keep away from gift voucher tricks. First and foremost, if you receive unsolicited investment offers via email or social media, be wary, especially if they promise substantial returns with little to no risk.

Second, avoid anyone who asks for money in the form of gift cards because this is not a common way for reputable investors or businesses to receive cash. Thirdly, conduct thorough background checks on the individual or business offering the investment opportunity, including verifying their identity and checking their credentials with relevant regulatory bodies.

Fourthly, users should avoid disclosing personal information like your social security number (SSN) or bank account information unless they are certain that the investment opportunity is genuine. Last but not least, before investing any money, make sure you fully understand the risks and rewards of any transaction.

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