Consumer Alert: Beware of Mother's Day gift certificate scams

Thieves are trying to get you to turn over personal and financial information in exchange for a $50 gift certificate.

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (May 11, 2017) – With Mother’s Day around the corner, many Arkansans are still on the hunt for the perfect gift for mom, but scammers on social media and online are angling to get you to turn over personal and financial information, in exchange for a $50 gift certificate.

“Spring fishing is a tradition across Arkansas,” said Attorney General Leslie Rutledge. “But scammers phish for information that can lead hackers and scam artists straight into a consumers’ bank account.”

The Better Business Bureau offers the following tips to avoid a giveaway scam:

-Do not always believe what you see. Scammers can make links look like they direct a person to a legitimate website by stealing colors and logos from established organizations or business.

-Legitimate businesses do not ask for credit card numbers or banking information on customer surveys. If they do ask for personal information like an address or email, check for a link to the organization’s privacy policy.

-Search the promotion online. If the giveaway is a scam, the search will likely provide information about the scam or link to the organization’s website, which will offer more information if the promotion is legitimate.

-Watch out for a reward that sounds too good to be true. Few companies can afford to provide vouchers to all customers.

These “gift certificates” are circulating as a Mother’s Day promotion and come across social media as a shared link. The link takes the user to a fake survey website that looks very similar to the business’s actual site. The fake survey is designed to gather personal information of the user, which can be used to hack into banking or other accounts and steal your identity.

If your identity has been stolen, contact the Attorney General’s office for information on filing fraud alerts, requesting an identity theft passport and what should be done next.

For more information and tips to avoid scams and other consumer-related issues, contact the Arkansas Attorney General’s office at (800) 482-8982 or consumer@arkansasag.gov or visit ArkansasAG.gov

© 2017 KTHV-TV


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