CONSUMER FIRST ALERT: Gift card scams on the increase

More than 13 million fell for the rip-off
Updated: Jan. 29, 2023 at 6:00 AM CST
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GREEN BAY, Wis. (WBAY) - Millions of people are falling for gift card scams.

An AARP survey found one-in-three adults said they or someone they know had been asked to purchase a gift card to make a payment or claim a prize.

One in four adults who were contacted reported they bought the cards. That’s about 13 million people.

Scammers like gift cards because they are virtually untraceable. They’re like cash.

“The sender will know where it’s coming from, after that it’s very hard to tell,” says Michael Domke, Director, Wisconsin Bureau of Consumer Protection.

No government agency or legitimate business or organization will ask you to pay by a gift card.

“What we recommend is if you have a friend, anyone reaching out saying, ‘hey, I need your help could you send me a gift card?’ Go to your contacts, call them directly. Text them directly and say, ‘hey, is this legit?’ Often times you’ll find out it’s not,” Domke says.

To report scams or ask questions call the Wisconsin Consumer Protection hotline at 800-422-7128 or go to