PLEASE, please have the Gift Card Scam talk with the older folks in your life. One of my longtime customers was just here at MacMedics asking if we sold Apple Gift Cards. I told him, “No, but Safeway across the street does.” Then I caught myself. “I asked how many did you need”? “He said I need four $500 gift cards.” I saw right away that he was being scammed. I asked, “What are these for”? He said, “Gifts.” I explained that if these were not for his grandkids or people in his family, no matter what is happening, it’s a scam, and don’t buy gift cards. He heard what I said, and he just looked blankly at me. So I told him again, “Mr. Smith, no matter what’s going on, this is a 100% SCAM! Don’t buy gift cards for anyone other than your family!” He appeared to get it, but as I watched him climb into his car, something told me I needed to say to him again, so I jumped outside and said again, “Mr. Smith, PLEASE don’t buy any gift cards for anyone; I promise you it’s a scam! No matter what is going on, It’s a total scam”! He still looked like something bad was happening, so I also had his regular MacMedics consultant call him. He then sat in his car for 10-15 minutes. I bet he was calling the folks that were scamming him. The bad guys will have an answer for every situation. The last MacMedics customer who got taken for $10,000 in gift cards told me that the scammers said they would be fired if he did not do what they said. Also, the “gift cards” are often presented as a “payoff” for the bad guys, and the scammers pretend to be the good guys helping you “solve” the fake problem that is all part of their scam script.
Read the back of the Apple Gift Card! Beware of gift card scams. Do not share your code.
A month ago, another customer got scammed out of $10,000 in gift cards! This is no joke. You’ve heard the scam before; they have a video of you in front of your computer, and they know where you’ve been online; it will be impossible to get rid of them, and they own you until you pay them off. And then, as soon as you pay, they just demand more money. For older folks that don’t know, they are embarrassed to ask for help, and they would rather keep the whole thing secret!
Update: Good news! We were able to call the customer who was being scammed, and thanks to Dana’s perseverance, “Mr. Smith” got the message and did NOT fall victim to the scam. The reason he was acting so oddly in the store was that the scammers made him keep them on the phone while he drove around looking for gift cards. He had a website pop up on his screen, and he thought it looked like a scam, so he took a screenshot and saved it. Two weeks later, he went back and called the number to investigate, and the scammers told him that he had a bill due that had to be paid by gift card they also said he would be sent to collections, and the person he was talking to said they would be fired if he did not pay.
The hackers are looking for older folks, and if anyone mentions they need to buy gift cards, that is a scam. The hackers will make older folks stay on the phone with them as they try to get money out of them. Another older MacMedics customer was told to drive to her bank with the bad guys on the phone, and she was so scared she would get in trouble, but she hand-wrote a note and passed it to the bank teller, who brought the manager over, and that was the end of that scam!