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We found the latest gift card scam

We saw new trends in gift card fraud. This time, the scammer pretends to be a pastor, rabbi, pastor, Aima or bishop. For a valuable cause, they asked believers to donate money for gift cards. Appeals are usually sent by email, but we have also heard that people also receive text messages and phone calls.

Forged emails usually include the name of the local pastor and a valid email address. But careful observation should trigger some danger signals. For example, an email address is not an email address that is commonly used by churches, and service providers are different. The message can start with a simple "嗨" but does not include the recipient's name. There may also be spelling mistakes, including the name of the pastor.

Imposters ask you to buy a popular gift card - usually iTunes, Google Play or Amazon - and then ask for the gift card number and PIN on the back of the card. These numbers allow the scammer to immediately get the money you put on the card. Once completed, the scammer and your money disappear and there is usually no trace.

If you or someone you know uses a gift card to pay for a scammer, please report it as soon as possible. Call the card company and tell them that the gift card is used in the scam. Below are some of the contact information for gift card companies most commonly used by scammers. Then, tell the FTC at ftc.gov/complaint. Your report may help law enforcement agencies initiate investigations to block imposters and other fraudsters.

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