Alert Michigan Man Steps In To Stop Gift Card Scam
I think it's becoming common knowledge that gift cards are the currency of scammers. A Waterford man knew that and stepped in to help an elderly gentleman.
Tuesday evening, Andy Auten was standing in line at the CVS waiting to check out. The man in front of him was purchasing gift cards and something didn’t seem right to Auten.
"The gentleman in front of me was trying to buy two $500 gift cards," Auten told FOX 2 News. "I've seen a lot of scam videos and it just looked like a scam because who buys a thousand dollars of CVS gift cards?"
After the man left the store, Auten asked the cashier about the man’s purchase and the cashier said the man was buying the gift cards for his grandkids.
Alarm bells went off in Auten’s mind, "So I called the police and gave them a description of the gentleman." When police arrived, the man was sitting in his car about to give the scammers the info from the cards, guaranteeing that he’d be out $1-thousand, but the cops put a stop to the scheme before it was too late.
Police say the man was caught up in a common scam where fraudsters send an email to the victim saying there’s some problem with the victim’s computer and then instruct them to buy gift cards to pay a fee.
Once the scammers get the info from the cards, they drain all the money from them and the victim has no way of recouping their loss. The Waterford police were grateful for Auten’s quick thinking and hope that more people will call when something seems off.
Auten says he was just doing what he hopes someone would do for him or his family. "A lot of people would say - not my problem - but we need to help each other out," he says.
The take away for me is that gift cards are for gifts, not for payments, so always be suspicious if someone mentions paying with a gift card.