Beware of Gift Card Scams

Threatening calls that you will be arrested or your electricity will be turned off can sound so real. But don’t go running out to buy a gift card to keep your lights on. Learn how the fast-changing gift card scam works so you’ll be ready if your phone rings.

An older woman reads the numbers off a gift card to a caller.
(Image credit: Getty Images)

My paralegal, Anne, buzzed me:

“Dennis, you have readers from Palm Springs on the line, a 90-year-old mom and her 55-year-old son. He is trying to prevent her from sending money to scammers using a gift card.”

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H. Dennis Beaver, Esq.
Attorney at Law, Author of "You and the Law"

After attending Loyola University School of Law, H. Dennis Beaver joined California's Kern County District Attorney's Office, where he established a Consumer Fraud section. He is in the general practice of law and writes a syndicated newspaper column, "You and the Law." Through his column he offers readers in need of down-to-earth advice his help free of charge. "I know it sounds corny, but I just love to be able to use my education and experience to help, simply to help. When a reader contacts me, it is a gift."