Gift card scams continue to cheat Victoria residents out of large sums of money, and police are warning people they need to be more careful.
The Victoria Police Department is investigating after a fraudster posing as a CEO convinced a new employee to purchase $1,000-worth of gift cards and hand over the information. The victim said they received an urgent internal email that very closely resembled that of their CEO’s. The fraudster told the victim they were in an important meeting and could only communicate by email.
They then asked the victim to purchase 10 gift cards of $100 each and asked them to use their own credit card, assuring the employee they would be reimbursed later. Convinced by the urgency and sophistication of the scam, the employee purchased the gift cards and handed over the numbers on the back of them to the fraudster.
It wasn’t until the employee brought the physical gift cards to the real CEO that she realized she had been scammed. Police say it’s unlikely she will get her money back.
VicPD is reminding people to be suspicious of internal emails that require immediate purchases. Instead of responding to that email, police recommend employees create a new email back to their boss to confirm the request. Then, people should confirm that email with a text, call or internal messaging service.
Employers can protect their team by creating purchasing policies that layout how requests will be made in the future. Anti-fraud training should be a priority for new staff members, VicPD said.
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