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Has Your Boss Asked You to Buy Gift Cards? It Could Be a Scam!

Last Updated on January 12, 2022

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Gift Card Scam Alert

Did you get an email from your boss asking you to buy some gift cards?

Well, that could be a scam because scammers have recently been using this ruse to scam people out of money. And, in some cases, people have lost a lot of money!

How the Scam Works

You get an email, apparently from your boss, asking you to buy some gift cards for them. Your boss might need you to send gift cards somewhere to pay for a surprise office party, for example. Or perhaps he promised to pay some other kind of bill with gift cards.

You might fill out the appropriate paperwork, backed up by the email, raise a company check to pay for the cards.

Or your “boss” might ask you to pay for the cards and promise to pay you back later. Of course, you trust your boss. And you know they will pay you back. Or you can claim the money back on your expense account.

You dutifully buy the cards and send them along with the relevant PIN to the address mentioned in the email. Great, that’s another ticked item on your to-do list, and the boss will be pleased, too.

But, when you next see your boss and tell them the gift cards are on their way, the boss looks at you perplexed and says, “Gift cards? What gift cards?” Yep, you have just been scammed!

Scammers have spoofed your bosses’ email, or they hijacked the email address. They then find or guess your email address, make up a plausible story, and sit back and wait for the money to roll in.

How to Avoid It

The first rule is never to pay bills with gift cards. Because legitimate companies never ask for payment in gift cards, only scammers ask for that type of payment.

Gift cards are for personal gifts between friends or family. You know, when you can’t think of anything else to buy!

So, the request for gift cards should set the alarm bells ringing. And the best thing to do is contact your boss direct for confirmation. Or talk to another supervisor to get the transaction authorized before you part with any money. And always follow your company’s internal purchasing procedures.


So, watch out for this scam because it’s doing the rounds right now. And, as we head towards the holiday season, it’s likely to become prevalent. And remember, don’t let the scammers get away with it! Instead, be vigilant, ask questions, and familiarize yourself with the many scams that people try to pull.

It’s easy to get caught out by scammers. So, please share this scam alert with your friends on social media so more people don’t fall for this scam.

Sadly, we will undoubtedly be sharing more scam alerts with you soon. So, if you like to keep up to date with new posts on Best Panic Alarm, please subscribe to our free mailing list.

Thanks for reading. Have a great day, and stay safe!

Image by Gerd Altmann from Pixabay.

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