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Gift cards won't stop an investigation, but are a red flag of fraud

Telephone Scam
Posted at 11:13 AM, Jun 08, 2021

HURRICANE, Utah — Hurricane police officers want to remind people that no government agency will ever request gift cards as payment, something that seems clear but can be clouded when the scammer uses scare tactics.

Such tactics can make targets act out of fear to pay money, provide personal information, or other actions that will resolve the "problem." But they are always a red flag for fraud.

Hurricane police officers got wind of such a scheme by an alert consumer, who said they received a call that came up as from the Hurricane Police Department Dispatch and claimed to be with a government agency.

The scammer warned that an investigation was underway against the consumer that could be stopped if they sent them gift cards.

Con artists know that if a person stops to think about this type of request or contacts a family member, the gig is up, so they use tactics that frighten people out of thinking before acting.

When a call comes in from a police department, government agency, or other "official" organization threatening action and asking for payment, always contact the published telephone number first before acting, never the information provided by the caller.

Report the scam to the Utah Division of Consumer Protection prevent others from being potential victims.