Gift card scam complaints rise in Grant Co. – WMTV – NBC15

MADISON, Wis. (WMTV) – The Grant County Sheriff’s Office is warning residents of an increase in scam complaints Monday, many of which have to do with gift cards.

Sheriff Nate Dreckman explained that most of the complaints his agency has received involve prepaid gift cards from stores like Target and Walmart, or online stores such as Amazon or Google.

Scam callers will try to keep the victim on the phone while they purchase gift cards at these stores, Dreckman explained, allowing them to get the access code to the card once it is activated.

Businesses will never ask people to clear a debt using pre-paid gift cards, Dreckman noted.

The sheriff’s office also put a call out to area businesses, telling them to advise their staff of what to do if they notice someone trying to buy a large number of gift cards. Staff were warned that if someone does try to do this, especially while on the phone, it is likely scam.

Dreckman asked family members to educate members of their family about this scam.

The sheriff’s office listed four additional incidents in its report, which it noted were all scams:

  1. A woman reported that she was told over the phone that she won a $250,000 senior citizen beneficiary award, but that she needed to provide proof of identity and a claimant card. She also would have needed to provide 1% of the award in order to claim it.
  2. A person claiming to be from the Grant Co. Sheriff’s Office advised sex offenders that they needed to provide a DNA and writing sample. The sheriff’s office stated the fake call came from someone claiming to be a Capt. Davenport, who is not the name of anyone who works there.
  3. A person stated they received a call about winning $750,000, but needed to pay $500 in taxes using gift cards to get it.
  4. A man received a letter regarding water line coverage and talked on the phone with the company, who he agreed to pay over $115 to for coverage. Deputies say the man’s son called his bank to prevent the transaction.

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