Consumer Alert: Kupuna most likely to fall for gift card scams, Hawaii BBB says ‘education is key’

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HONOLULU (KHON2) — Gift cards can make the perfect present.

Fraudsters like these cards too, however, because the consumer’s money is gone as soon as the card is purchased.

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“Gift cards are so easy beacuse they’re not traceable. Verses writing a check or transferring money from your checking account to someone else’s checking account: There’s paper trails.”

Roseann Freitas, Hawaii Better Business Bureau marketplace manager

Imposter con artists will pretend to be a company and offer services or even say you owe them money. But to get that service or make a payment, they demand gift cards.

“That right there is a red flag,” Freitas said. “It’s just not normal policy for a company to ask you to pay for something with some other companies’ gift card.”

Younger consumers seem to avoid these scams, according to the BBB, it is kupuna who are most at risk.

“You can share that with your family, “Freitas said. “especially anybody that’s older and just to let them know what’s going on out there. Education here is the key. Theses are going to keep going, they are not going away and they’re gonna’ get more sophisticated.”

Interested in jewelry heists gone wrong, other strange news? Check out Weird News

If someone tells you or a loved one to pay them through gift cards, stop immediately. Whatever they are offering is not worth losing money. Make sure to file a complaint with the Federal Trade Commission as well, who will give you steps on what to do next.

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