There are all types of common scams being perpetrated and many share a common wrinkle  – payment using a gift card. The caller threatens the phone recipient with back taxes and arrest or some other frightening message and threat. Then demands payment using prepaid gift cards. A classic illustration of the scam from an issue of the AARP Bulletin goes like this:

  • Scammer pretends to be from IRS, threatens jail
  • Requests you buy large denomination gift card to settle debt, asks for code on card to expedite payment
  • Sends code to “washer” who transfers amount to a store app and buys smaller denominations at a retailer
  • The cards are discarded and the codes are sold online
  • All of this can be done in less than an hour and is untraceable

No legitimate organization will ask you to pay them with a gift card! If you are unsure if something is a scam, please call the bank at 877-508-8455.