Wild Gift’s D.J. Caruso, known for feature films Disturbia and XXX: Return of Xander Cage, directs with cinematic flair. The clips absurdly tweak Hollywood action and suspense tropes to make their point: If someone demands payment in gift cards to resolve a problem, they’re pulling a scam.
The work touts Google’s Scam Spotter platform, which launched last year. The agency Mischief @ No Fixed Address led campaign development in partnership with Sandy Russell Creative. Dini von Mueffling Communications provided PR and influencer support.
Strike Anywhere’s Pete Marquis directed additional PSAs, including this quick take on “office-bonus” swindles.
“We talked about our own experiences with these scams, people we know, stories of people getting duped, or almost getting duped by them,” Mischief partner and executive creative director Kevin Mulroy tells Muse. “There are a lot of different types of these calls, but the most dramatic ones serve as the best example of the basic truth: The premise of the scam is inherently absurd. The idea that any authority figure—the FBI, the DEA, the IRS, your boss—needs the serial numbers off the back of a gift card to solve a problem sounds like the premise of an SNL short. So, we pushed the scenario to be bigger, crazier, more bombastic. We wanted people to stop and think about what’s being asked of them.”
“Scammers love gift cards because they are untraceable, and there’s no way to recover the money once a scammer has the card…