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Amazon Gift Card Frauds - Police Warning

Police Scotland are warning members of the public to be vigilant following reports of an old but sophisticated scam involving Amazon Gift Cards.

The Scam can work in a variety of ways but it usually involves the victim receiving an e-mail or Facebook message from someone portraying to be a friend or family member. They may even text you on your mobile telephone claiming to be have a new telephone number. The messages and Facebook account may appear genuine but this is part of the scam and the Facebook account has likely been hacked or cloned.

The fraudster may explain that they are in urgent need of funds to pay a bill or perhaps want you to invest in cryptocurrency. You will be asked to purchase Amazon Gift Card vouchers and send them details of the code found on the back of the cards. Once the fraudster has the codes they use them to buy items online or sell the codes.

North East Crime Reduction Officer, Constable Richard Russell said:

"If you receive a message like this, do not respond until you can confirm who you are speaking to. Contact your friend in person or speak to them on the phone to clarify they sent the message. They may not know their accounts have been hacked.

"This Scam has also seen victims being told they have won a significant amount of prize money and that they need to send hundreds of pounds worth of gift card codes to release the funds.

"The North East has also seen businesses fall victim to this scam with staff being asked to purchase vouchers on behalf of Management. The fraudster uses a similar e-mail to that of a Manager and asks a staff member to buy vouchers on their behalf, often as a reward for staff.

"No legitimate firm, government agency or company will accept Amazon Gift Cards as payment. These vouchers can only be used for purchases online at Amazon.co.uk. Do not use an Amazon Gift Card to pay for anything over the phone or e-mail, including bills or services."

More information on scam awareness and prevention can be found at:

  • www.scotland.police.uk/advice-and-information/internet-safety
  • www.getsafeonline.org

  • Original message sent by: Richard Russell (Police, Constable, North East Division)

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