Residents are likely being scammed by after receiving phone calls asking for gift cards as payment, according to the latest fraud alert from the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office on Friday.
As the instigators of the “gift card payment scam,” fraudsters will call victims and act with a sense of urgency. They will keep the victim on the phone as a way to offer any resolution to debt or other problems.
“Once the fraudster has the victim on the hook, they will attempt to pressure or intimidate the victim, demanding an immediate or urgent payment,” said Sharon Ransom, deputy district attorney, in a video made available for the public by the D.A.’s Office. “Most of the time, the form of payment they want is a prepaid gift card, usually an Apple iTunes gift card. This is a major red flag that a scam is taking place.”
Government agencies and most legitimate companies will not ask for or accept gift cards as a form of payment, except for those companies that issue cards for redemption.
To avoid risk from fraudsters, the D.A.’s Office suggests the following tips:
- Use gift cards only for the businesses in which they are designated by.
- If offered services or products by an unsolicited caller, never use a gift card as payment.
- Hang up the phone if an unknown person calls seeking payment; do not provide any personal or financial information.
Those interested in more information can follow @LADAOffice on Twitter and Instagram for up-to-date news. The above information was shared with The Signal via a news release from the L.A. County District Attorney’s Office.