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Gift Card Scams

Beware of anyone asking you to pay a fee, fine, or debt with a gift card.

How it works

The scammer will usually say they work for a government department and that you owe them money. They often will threaten you with jail time or other legal action if you do not pay right away and will encourage you to pay by buying prepaid gift cards or credit cards. They will send you to multiple stores to purchase the cards (so store clerks don’t get suspicious), and have you read the code off the back of the card to them so they can drain the card of funds.

How to protect yourself

A company, utility, or government department will never ask you to make a payment by gift card. If anyone does, hang up or walk away.

How to report it

If you suspect you’re a victim of a gift card scam, or attempted gift card scam, contact the Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre, and your local police or RCMP.

FCNB administers and enforces legislation in the mortgage brokers, payday lenders, real estate, securities, insurance, pensions, credit unions, trust and loan companies, cooperatives, and a wide range of other consumer legislation. If your complaint relates to an area outside of FCNB’s regulated areas, we may refer you to the appropriate reporting agency or organization.