Salem, Ore. — The Oregon Division of Financial Regulation (DFR) is cautioning the public about financial scams, particularly focusing on gift card scams, as the 2023 holiday shopping season begins.
Gift card scams typically initiate through calls, texts, emails, or social media messages, with scammers urging individuals to purchase specific gift cards such as Google Play, Apple, or Amazon. The scammers then request the card number and personal identification number (PIN) codes.
Common tactics employed by scammers, according to the Federal Trade Commission, include urgent demands for payment, directing victims to buy specific gift cards at designated stores, and soliciting gift card numbers and PINs. Scammers employ various stories, claiming to be from government agencies, tech support, friends or family members in emergencies, prize-winning notifications, utility companies, or individuals on dating websites.
DFR offers the following reminders to prevent falling victim to scams:
- Avoid answering unknown numbers and block unwanted calls and text messages.
- Refrain from providing personal identifying information to unsolicited calls, texts, or emails. Verify by calling the official number.
- Be skeptical, ask questions, and be cautious of offers that seem “too good to be true.”
- Resist immediate action, as scammers often use urgency as a tactic.
- Discuss suspicions with someone trustworthy to help identify potential scams.
- Never pay using gift cards, money transfers, or cryptocurrency, especially when pressured to do so.
If individuals suspect they have been scammed, DFR’s consumer advocates can be contacted at 1-888-877-4894 (toll-free) or [email protected].
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