Another day, another scam to be aware of and the Duluth Police Department issued a warning to Minnesota residents of a scam currently targeting the area.

You'd hope people would get suspicious of scams such as this, but having been targeted myself in a similar scam I know how convincing and manipulative scammers can be once they get a hold of you.

That's why it's important to share the warning signs with everyone so these types of scams can be done.

How Gift Card Scams Work

Gift card scams start with a call, text, email, or social media message. The scammer will be very creative and persuasive with their story on why you must buy gift cards from places like Amazon, Target, Google Play, Apple, and more. All you have to do is give them card numbers and PIN codes.

According to the Federal Trade Commission, here are common behaviors scammers use in these scams:

  • Scammers will say it’s urgent. They will say to pay them right away or something terrible will happen, or they'll promise a prize or bigger payback. They don’t want you to have time to think about what they’re saying or talk to someone you trust. Slow down. Don’t pay. It’s a scam.
  • Scammers will tell you which gift card to buy and where to get them. When they tried to get me, I was told to go to Target and get gift cards, then I'd get a big cash deposit that would double my up-front investment. Sometimes they’ll tell you to buy cards at several stores, so cashiers won’t get suspicious. The scammer also might stay on the phone with you while you go to the store and load money onto the card. If this happens to you, hang up. It’s a scam.
  • Scammers will ask you for the gift card number and PIN. The card number and PIN on the back of the card let the scammer get the money you loaded onto the card — even if you still have the card itself. Slow down. Don’t give them those numbers or send them a photo of the card. It’s a scam and they will use that information to get things for themselves while stealing from you.
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This is very similar to what the Duluth Police Department warned residents about.

Scam Warning From The Duluth Police Department

According to its warning on Facebook this week, the Duluth Police Department has been notified of an individual stating they are from the St. Louis County Sheriff's Office soliciting money via Bitcoin or Amazon gift cards to clear up a warrant the victim allegedly has against them.

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Duluth Police took the opportunity to remind everyone that law enforcement will never solicit payment via gift cards or Bitcoin.

Furthermore, anyone who receives a call such as this is urged to hang up and call 911 immediately to report the scam to authorities.

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