RED BLUFF— The Tehama County District Attorney’s Office is warning residents of the gift card scam targeting people all over Northern California.
The gift card scam generally begins with an email or phone call purportedly from a company such as Microsoft or Amazon and tells the target of the scam that their credit card or bank account has been compromised with thousands of dollars of fraudulent charges, according to a press release issued Wednesday by the office of DA Matt Rogers.
“This scam is quite elaborate, and the scammers behind it are very convincing,” the release said. “The scam emails appear legitimate and have correct titles and graphics for the mimicked company but do not have an email address corresponding to the company.”
As the scam progresses, whether originating by email or phone call, the scam directs the victim to call a phone number or speak to customer service to address the unauthorized charges. The phone numbers are manned by scammers who continue the scam by posing as employees of the company being mimicked, often referring the victim to other scammers posing as employees of credit card companies or banks.
At some point, the scammer informs the victim their credit card cannot be canceled and the only way to get reimbursed for the fraudulent charges is to purchase gift cards. The scammer then informs the victim once the gift cards are purchased and the card numbers turned over to the scammer, the victim will receive the money back from…