Fraud Prevention

Published on August 14, 2019 and last updated on April 15, 2020

<i>Protect yourself from fraud. Never send money to someone you do not know.</i> <br><br>We want to help protect our customers from money transfer scams. If our associates suspect you could be a victim of fraud, we may be unable to complete your transaction.<br><br>Keep yourself and loved ones safer by keeping up with common scams. Fraudsters often ask potential victims to send a wire transfer or to load money on a prepaid card/gift card and to provide the Personal Identification Number (PIN). Always treat gift cards the same as cash. Scammers use mail, the Internet, and even phone calls to target potential victims.
By

Protect yourself from fraud. Never send money to someone you do not know.

We want to help protect our customers from money transfer scams. If our associates suspect you could be a victim of fraud, we may be unable to complete your transaction.

Keep yourself and loved ones safer by keeping up with common scams. Fraudsters often ask potential victims to send a wire transfer or to load money on a prepaid card/gift card and to provide the Personal Identification Number (PIN). Always treat gift cards the same as cash. Scammers use mail, the Internet, and even phone calls to target potential victims.

Coronavirus Scam

Beware Scammers may be targeting customers asking them to send money in order to reserve a Coronavirus vaccine or government stimulus check. If you’re asked to wire money, provide a money order or load a prepaid/gift card to pay to reserve a Coronavirus vaccine or to obtain a government stimulus check, it is not legitimate.

Visit Walmart Fraud Alerts
Visit IRS Coronavirus Related Scams

Shopping Scam

Be careful when sending money to pay for items purchased from online auctions or websites. If you’re asked to wire money or load a prepaid/gift card to pay for items won or ordered online, it’s suspicious.

Government Agent Impersonator Scam

A call or message impersonates a Government Agent (e.g. IRS or FBI Agent) instructing you to wire money or load a prepaid/gift card immediately to avoid fines or jail time.

Online Romance Scam

You’re asked to wire money or load a prepaid/gift card to pay for travel or support expenses for someone pretending to be in a relationship with you.

Lottery/Sweepstakes/Inheritance Scam

An email says you have won a lottery, sweepstakes, inheritance or some other valuable prize. In order to claim your prize, you’re asked to send a wire transfer or load a prepaid/gift card to receive the funds.

Person in Need Scam

A call or message says a friend or loved one needs money to pay for a medical emergency, or for legal fees. You’re asked to wire money or load a prepaid/gift card to help.

Charity Scam

An individual impersonates a charitable organization and requests a wire transfer or to load a prepaid/gift card for donations.

Fake Check/Employment Scam

A letter with a fake check inside asks you to be a Secret Shopper. Or, you receive a fake check for an item you sold online and the amount is greater than the selling price. You’re asked to deposit the fake check (which will not clear) and wire the overpayment or load it to a prepaid/gift card.

These resources may be of help to you.

MoneyGram International
Visit moneygram.com or call 1-800-926-9400

Walmart2Walmart/RIA Fraud Hotline ....... 1-855-355-2145
fraudprevention@riafinancial.com

GreenDot .................................................................. 1-877-937-4098

InComm
OneVanilla ................................................................. 1-877-770-6408
Vanilla Gift ................................................................ 1-800-571-1376
MyVanilla .................................................................. 1-855-686-9513

Netspend .................................................................. 1-866-397-5639

Amex
Bluebird ...................................................................... 1-877-486-5990
Serve............................................................................ 1-800-954-0559

Internet Fraud Complaint Center
Report fraud at ic3.gov

The Better Business Bureau
Visit bbb.org

Walmart Gift Cards
gctmrsrch@walmart.com

Federal Trade Commission
If you spot a scam, please report it to the FTC.
1-877-FTC-HELP (1-877-382-4357) or TTY 1-866-653-4261
Go online: ftc.gov/complaint

Consumer Financial Protection Bureau
Visit consumerfinance.gov/complaint • 1-877-800-6762

Walmart Privacy & Security Fraud Alerts
corporate.walmart.com/privacy-security/fraud-alerts

IRS Fraud Alert
https://www.irs.gov/newsroom/irs-issues-warning-about-coronavirus-related-scams-watch-out-for-schemes-tied-to-economic-impact-payments

Gift Card Fraud Prevention

Tips to help avoid gift card fraud

  • Sam’s Club Gift Cards can only be used at Sam’s Clubs or Walmart stores in the U.S. or Puerto Rico, or on-line at Vudu, Inc., WalMart.com or Samsclub.com. No legitimate government entity, including the IRS, Treasury Department, FBI or local police department, will accept any form of gift cards as payment.
  • Other businesses do not accept payments in the form of Sam’s Club Gift Cards. For example, you will never be asked to pay your utility bills, bail money, debt collection and hospital bills with Sam’s Club Gift Cards.
  • Do not purchase, sell, or check your balance on online marketplaces outside of Samsclub.com.
  • If you get a call from a stranger who says that a loved one is in trouble and they ask you to provide gift card numbers to help them, hang up and contact your loved one directly.
  • Don’t always trust your caller ID. Scammers can manipulate a caller ID to look like a legitimate company or government agency.
  • Don’t purchase a gift card if it appears that the packaging has been altered or manipulated. If you have questions about a gift card, ask someone who works at that store.
  • Don’t click on or respond to online ads or websites offering free gift cards. These are often scams.
  • If you think you’ve been the victim of a gift card scam, report it to the Federal Trade Commission at ftccomplaintassistant.gov.

Common gift card scams

The Grandparent Scam

In this scam, the scammer will call a victim and indicate that a loved one is in some sort of trouble (i.e. kidnapped, arrested, etc.). Sometimes, the scammer pretends to be a lawyer or the loved one themselves and asks directly for money. The scammer then instructs the victim to purchase gift cards and give the gift card numbers to the scammer over the phone.

The Tech Support Scam

Perpetrators of tech support scams try to trick victims into believing their computers are infected and they need help. Some scammers pretend to be connected with Microsoft, Apple or a familiar security software company such as Norton or McAfee, and claim to have detected malware that poses an imminent threat to the person’s computer. Other scams feature planted website ads or pop-ups that display warning messages, some even featuring a clock ticking down the minutes before the victim’s hard drive will be destroyed by a virus — unless he or she calls a toll-free number for assistance in deactivating the menace. Such scammers will often ask for remote access to your computer to run phony diagnostic tests and pretend to discover defects in need of fixing. They’ll pressure you to pay for unnecessary repairs or new software, and ask for payment via gift cards.

Additional resources

Avoid being the victim of a scam

Internal Revenue Service (IRS)
https://www.irs.gov/uac/tax-scams-consumer-alerts

Federal Trade Commission (FTC)

  • 10 Things You Can Do to Avoid Fraud:

https://www.consumer.ftc.gov/articles/0060-10-things-you-can-do-avoid-fraud

The National Council on Aging

  • Top 10 Financial Scams Targeting Seniors:

https://www.ncoa.org/economic-security/money-management/scams-security/top-10-scams-targeting-seniors/

Reporting suspicious behavior

Internal Revenue Service (IRS)

Federal Trade Commission (FTC)

  • Contact the FTC, which handles complaints about deceptive or unfair business practices. To file a complaint, visit https://ftccomplaintassistant.gov/, call 1-877-FTC-HELP, or write to: Federal Trade Commission, CRC-240, Washington, D.C. 20580.
  • For updates on other types of potential scams, check out the FTC’s “scam alert” website at https://www.consumer.ftc.gov/scam-alerts

Share