Best Buy manager says more people are falling for gift card scams

By  | 

CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa (KCRG-TV9) - A manager at Best Buy says he's seeing more and more people falling victims to scams in his store. Now he's trying to get the word out to make sure no one else falls victim.

Scammers always want your money, but lately it hasn't been in the form of paper. Scammers want gift cards.

Jim Campbell, a Best Buy general manager says lately a lot of people have been coming in trying to purchase gift cards worth thousands of dollars. That's a red flag.

"Unfortunately people are falling into these traps where it's not just fraud it's where they feel like they are super stressed out and somebody is like you have this amount of time to do it otherwise the other person is going to jail," Campbell said.

Campbell says oftentimes it's people older than 60 that are coming in to purchase the gift cards.

"You think about older folks that are on fixed incomes and things of that nature, that's the thing that melts your heart is that you know they come in after the fact and they have been duped," Campbell said.

Two of the more popular cards that people come in to Best Buy for are the iTunes and Google play cards in 100 dollar amounts. The federal trade commission says those gift cards make it easier for scammers to spread the money out fast without the ability to trace it back.

"I wanted to communicate with people that in no way, shape or form will a government or anyone else for that matter when someone is calling pretending that they are from somewhere that they take forms of payment or pay off your bill or IRS, or bailing someone else out or whatever the case may be, they are not doing with gift cards," Campbell said.

Campbell says he now requires employees to get a manager if someone wants to spend over a certain dollar amount. Then they will ask some questions and try to warn the customer of potential scams.