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Gift Card Scams are Becoming More Prevalent

Iowa’s Attorney General, Insurance Commissioner and AARP State Director have been traveling the state in an effort to educate people about scams.

AARP state director, Brad Anderson, says gift card scams have become more prevalent and there’s an effort in the Legislature to help. “It is a bill that would require retailers that sell gift cards to put a warning sign up,” he says. Anderson says having the sign up at the kiosks where the gift cards are sold could prevent someone from being scammed. “Other states do have this type of legislation where it basically just warns consumers of gift card scams and then directs them to a number to call if they think they are being scammed,” Anderson says.

He says the gift card scams require interaction while the purchase is being made. “The scammer will literally be on the telephone with the consumer and have them purchase the gift card and then bring it to the counter to pay for the gift card while they’re still on the phone. They will then scratch off the number for the gift card and give it to the scammer and then the money is instantly gone,” Anderson says.

Anderson says the bill requiring the warning sign for gift cards has passed the first legislative deadline.


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