Telephone and Gift Card Scams

The Deland Police Department wants to alert residents and businesses that fraud of all types continue to be a problem.   The ever popular gift card scam has recently been occurring in our city.   We remind you that NO LEGITIMATE GOVERNMENT ENTITY, including the IRS, Treasury Department, FBI or local police department will accept any form of gift card as payment.  Other businesses do not accept payments in this form either.  For example, you will never be asked to pay your utility bill, bail money, debt collection or hospital bills with gift cards.  If you get a call from a stranger who says that a loved one is in trouble and they ask you to provide gift card numbers to help them-HANG UP!  Then contact your loved one directly.  Don't always trust your caller ID.  Scammers can manipulate a caller ID to look like a legitimate company or government agency. 

COMMON GIFT CARD SCAMS:

The IRS scam-Scammers call and claim that they are the IRS or other government agency (i.e. FBI, Law Enforcement, etc.) and that the victim owes that agency money.  Sometimes the scammers say that the victim will lose their house or be arrested if they don't pay immediately.  These scammers then instruct the victims to purchase gift cards and give the gift card numbers to the scammer over the phone.

The Grandparent scam-In this scam, the scammer will call a victim and indicate that a loved one is in some sort of trouble (i.e. kidnapped, arrested, hurt, etc.).  Sometimes, the scammer even pretends to be the loved one and asks directly for money.  The scammer then instructs the victim to purchase gift cards and give the card numbers to the scammer over the phone.

The Mystery Shopper-This is a scheme where scammer send a check and a letter to victims and inform them that they can make money as a "mystery shopper" for a retail store.  They try to get the victims to deposit the fake check, create a cashier's check and buy items at the store.  The fake check bounces after the guest has sent gift cards and merchandise to the scammer.  The scammer may also use this tactic to attempt to get personal information from the victim.

The Deland Police Department wants to remind members of our community to be cautious and vigilant.  If something sounds to good to be true-it probably is.  If someone tries to scare or intimidate you into giving them money-don't do it!  Contact us if you have any questions or concerns and STAY SAFE!