The elderly are easy target for scammers because they are not familiar with technology and are more trusting than the younger population. In order to get money from them, scammers use different tactics; one of which is the gift card scam.
As reported by Detroit Free Press: “Federal Trade Commission data indicates that consumers have reported spending nearly $245 million on gift cards that they used as payment to scammers from January 2018 through September 2020.”
Jane, an elderly woman from Colorado, could easily fall a victim of scammers and she was about to lose her money if it wasn’t for Sophia Rossi and another employee from Safeway who were trained to detect when someone was being scammed into converting their money into gift credits.
Namely, they noticed that when Jane entered the store, she was quite disturbed. They approached her and asked her whether there was something that bothered her. It was then that she told them how she got a call from an “officer” who told her that she would be in trouble and even end up in jail if she didn’t cooperate.
Speaking to News 5, Jane said: “If I didn’t cooperate, then it was going to be in the newspaper this morning and everybody would know and they were going to strip me of my Social Security card and close all the different accounts of stuff that were in my name, and I’m like, ‘you got a be kidding’. He said, ‘then you’re going to go to jail’ and I’m like, ‘what?’ He said, ‘yeah, we got a warrant out for you.’ That’s what got me. That scared the hell out of me.”
After learning what was going on, Sophia called the Woodland Park Police and told Jane how the gift card scam worked.
Sophia also wanted to warn others of this scam and told News 5: “Social Security numbers are brought up, or I’m making a purchase on one website but having to get gift cards for another website, or my computer’s been compromised stuff like that. You’re never going to need large amounts of money in like Google Play gift cards. It’s not going to happen. So right away I recognized that that’s what it was.”
One thing everyone should have in mind is that no entity will ever ask from you to make a payment in the form of gift cards.
Thankfully for Jane, she stumbled upon the right people who helped her discover she was a victim of con artists before she lost her money.
You can take a look at the video below to learn more of this story.