New York State Police is reminding people to be wary when someone calls and requests payment in the form of gift cards. Scammers will say you owe money to the IRS, Social Security, the U.S. Marshal’s Office or some other government entity. The scammers will even use scare tactics and say there’s a family emergency.
Most recently, a case was handled by a trooper from the Binghamton barracks. On October 23, an employee at a Dollar General observed an elderly man purchasing a large sum of Google Play gift cards while on the phone with someone. The employee called 911. An investigation by the trooper revealed that the victim got a phone call from someone claiming to be a U.S. Marshal. The person on the phone told the victim that a vehicle in the victim’s name was used in a crime in another state and that there is a warrant for his arrest. They told the victim he needed to buy a large sum of Google Play gift cards and provide them with the serial numbers on the cards.
If anyone calls you and asks to pay them by obtaining a gift card, it’s a scam. Do not give out your personal information over the phone, do not allow someone to remotely connect to your computer, do not cash checks you are not anticipating.