Gift cards are the hot new target for cyber criminals to get quick access to cash. With the more prolific use of apps such as Raise, it’s super easy to turn your unused balances into dollars. Just dig up your old unused gift cards, sell them, and cash out. You can also buy gift cards that others are trying to unload for a bit of a discount.

This is when the cyber criminals swept in and turned it into a money-making machine…

How the scam works:
You may get a text message or email from someone claiming to be someone you know. That person will ask you to go buy them a gift card such as an iTunes card at any retailer (Target, CVS, Walgreens, etc.) because they’re too busy to get to the store.

Then, they’ll ask you to take a picture of the gift card code on the back, and that’s it. They’ll sell the card as quickly as possible and put your cash in their pocket.
Isn’t that fraud? Not according to your bank. From their perspective, you initiated the charge with intent, so no fraud was committed.
What can you do? If someone’s asking you to do something like this, it should always be a red flag. Even if it’s your mother, best friend, sister, brother, boss, etc., never follow through without confirming with them. Wait until you see them or give them a call and ask to be safe.

With the holidays approaching, this will likely become more and more common over the coming months. Stay on alert, and keep your money where it belongs… with you!
For more information on security threats and practices to stay safe, email to schedule a Security Training for your office!