If you are ever asked to provide the numbers from the back of a gift card you have purchased, you are most likely the potential victim of the latest scam. Only scammers will tell you to buy a gift card like Google Play or Apple Card, and then request that you provide them the numbers off the back for payment. No government agency or legitimate business will request payment via gift card.
Gift card scammers will use urgency to escalate a situation. They may say to pay them right away or something terrible will happen. They don’t want you to have time to think about what they’re saying or give you time to ask someone you trust. Slow down and don’t pay, it’s a scam.
Scammers may instruct you to buy certain gift cards from stores. They may tell you to go to several different stores so that cashiers won’t get suspicious. The scammer may tell you to stay on the phone with them while you load money onto a card – if this happens to you, hang up, it’s a scam.
Scammers will ask you to provide them with the gift card number and pin from the card you purchased so that they can access the money on the card. Do not provide any numbers or a photo of the gift card, it’s a scam.
If you’ve been the victim of a gift card scam, report it. Contact the responsible Gift Card Company and let them know what happened – no matter how long ago it happened – and then ask for your money back. Some companies, in an effort to fight back, are reimbursing some victims of theft – it’s worth asking.
Gift cards are meant for gifts, not for payments. Never buy a gift card with the intention of giving the numbers to someone – it’s a scam. Purchase gift cards from reputable stores that you know and trust. Inspect gift cards before purchasing them and look for evidence of tampering and whether the PIN is exposed. Finally, always keep a copy of the gift card and store receipt to be safe.
Ensuring your devices are updated and patched is extremely important and is a simple step to help you stay safe online. Software updates not only improve how your device runs – they also fix or remove bugs, patch security vulnerabilities that are exploitable by hackers, and add new and improved features. By regularly updating and patching your devices, you can help keep your personal information safe and out of the wrong hands.
Strong passwords are essential in practicing online security and protecting your information. Strong passwords are those that include uppercase and lowercase letters, numbers, and special characters, and are at least twelve to fifteen characters in length.
Remember to never write down, share, or store your passwords overtly. Instead, use a secure password manager to organize and keep track of your passwords. Never use the same password for multiple accounts. Don’t give passwords or PINs to anyone. The State Bank will never ask you for your password over the phone, in person, or via email.
It is important to update your passwords frequently, set up multi-factor authentication, and enable biometric login when available.
Identity theft is the deliberate and intentional use of another person’s identity, usually for financial gain. Luckily there are ways to mitigate your risk of becoming a victim of this crime. The State Bank is committed to ensuring we protect your financial assets, but also your good name and positive credit history.
When it comes to scams that work to steal your identity, prevention and vigilance are key. Credit monitoring is easy to set up and tracks activity at all three major credit bureaus – Equifax, Experian, and TransUnion. This service will alert you when it detects newly opened loans or accounts, unexpected changes to your credit limits, a change in personal information on your credit file, and more.
Regularly monitoring your financial account statements, as well as keeping track of activity on your credit report, are good ways of being proactive and can help you stop identity theft before it’s too late.
Setting up alerts on your bank account is simple and will help you spot suspicious activity like invalid logins, transactions, or fraudulent online charges.
Learn more about identity monitoring services and Identity Theft Protection Services by visiting the United States Federal Trade Commission’s website.
Login below to your secure account.