Kelowna RCMP warn public as gift card scam season comes

Kelowna RCMP warn public as gift card scam season comes

“Gift cards are for gifts, not payments,” Kelowna RCMP said

The gift-giving season is almost upon us, with people thinking of giving gift cards to loved ones as presents.

Kelowna RCMP is warning residents that gift cards may make good gifts, but scammers see it as the “perfect medium to steal your money”.

“Whether masquerading as police officers, Canada Revenue agents, tech-support personnel, or even stranded grandchildren, scammers will often attempt to get victims to buy gift cards and transfer the code numbers or PINs to them,” police said.

Police added gift cards are popular with scammers are they are anonymous and are basically untraceable, operating like digital cash and easy to convert into cash, merchandise or cryptocurrency.

The RCMP said the most common gift card fraud scenario involves a caller contacting you with some kind of emergency, asking you to go to a store (or several stores) and buy a popular gift card such as iTunes, Google Play or Amazon. The caller then asks you to call them back to give them the card number or PIN on the back of the card.

Once you give them this, the scammer will have access to the money you’ve loaded into the card and the scammer and your money are gone.

“The easiest way is to remember: gift cards are for gifts, not payments,” Cpl. Jocelyn Noseworthy said.

“Anyone who is trying to demand payment via gift card is a scammer.”

For more information on common scams and frauds, as well as to protect yourself, visit the Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre’s website.

READ: Halloween festivities cancelled at Kelowna’s Orchard Park Shopping Centre


Twila Amato
Video journalist, Black Press Okanagan
Email me at twila.amato@blackpress.ca
Follow me on Twitter

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Ben Tyler was working on a Nicola area ranch when he disappeared. File photo
Police believe missing Merritt cowboy was the victim of homicide

Two years after he went missing, Ben Tyner’s family makes video plea for information

(Pixabay)
‘Roadmap out of COVID-19’: Innovate BC’s program helping businesses recover

CEO Raghwa Gopal said the tech sector is here to help brick and mortar businesses

Toronto Public Health nurse Lalaine Agarin makes preparations at Toronto’s mass vaccination clinic, Jan. 17, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Frank Gunn
3 deaths, 234 new cases of COVID-19 in Interior Health over the weekend

One death connected to outbreak at Kamloops’ Royal Inland Hospital, where 20 patients and 28 staff have tested positive

(THE NEWS – files)
Snowy days ahead for the Okanagan and Shuswap

The region could get up to 5 cm by Thursday

People skate on a lake in a city park in Montreal, Sunday, January 10, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Graham Hughes
The end of hugs: How COVID-19 has changed daily life a year after Canada’s 1st case

Today marks the one year anniversary of COVID-19 landing in Canada

Rolling seven-day average of cases by B.C. health authority to Jan. 21. Fraser Health in purple, Vancouver Coastal red, Interior Health orange, Northern Health green and Vancouver Island blue. (B.C. Centre for Disease Control)
2nd COVID vaccine doses on hold as B.C. delivery delayed again

New COVID-19 cases slowing in Fraser Health region

A large portion of Anglemont is without running water due to a water main break on Jan. 26. (CSRD Image)
A large part of Anglemont in the North Shuswap is without water due to a water line break on Jan. 26. (Black Press File Photo)
Broken water main leaves Shuswap community without running water

The water line has left Anglemont residents either without water or with low pressure.

A woman wearing a protective face mask to curb the spread of COVID-19 walks past a mural in Victoria, B.C., on Monday, Dec. 7, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Marissa Tiel
5 big lessons experts say Canada should learn from COVID-19

‘What should be done to reduce the harms the next time a virus arises?’ Disease control experts answer

A Vancouver Police Department patch is seen on an officer’s uniform as she makes a phone call. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
Vancouver man calls 911 to report his own stabbing, leading to arrest: police

Officers located the suspect a few blocks away. He was holding a bloody knife.

Kelowna seen from the top of Knox Mountain. (Phil McLachlan - Capital News file)
Homeownership unattainable for many Kelowna residents

Single-person and single-parent households often have limited options when it comes to housing

Penticton fire crews quickly put out a small blaze at a home on Duncan Ave. E Monday night. (Mike Biden photo)
South Okanagan house fire sends one to hospital

The fire at the Duncan Place home was cooking related

A Kelowna cannabis manufacturer has acquired another cannabis-based firm. (Black Press Media File)
Kelowna cannabis company acquires edibles manufacturer for $24.9 million

The Valens Company has acquired LYF Food Technologies

Vernon has agreed to a goose cull to control the over-populated invasive species making a muck of area parks and beaches. (Morning Star file photo)
Okanagan city pulls the trigger on goose cull

City asking neighbours to also help control over-population of geese

Most Read