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Don’t pay for a car with Amazon gift cards. Ever.

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We’ve written before about scammers who trick people into paying with iTunes gift cards. The latest? They’re asking people to pay for big online purchases — like cars, motorcycles, boats, RVs and tractors — with Amazon gift cards.

Posing as sellers, scammers say they need to sell a car fast — maybe they’re in the military or about to deploy. They tell you to pay with an Amazon gift card.

Don’t do it. Amazon gift cards aren’t a way to pay someone — you can only use them at So if someone asks you to pay with an Amazon gift card, it’s a scam. If you share the code from an Amazon gift card with someone, you’re giving that person control of the money on the card. By the time you realize it’s a scam and report it, the money will likely be gone.

Scammers also might ask you to use Amazon gift cards to pay for electronics, taxes, bail money, debts, or utility or cable bills. Or they might ask you to pay with iTunes gift cards, PayPal, or reloadable cards like MoneyPak, Reloadit, or Vanilla, or by money transfers through services like Western Union or MoneyGram. If you tell someone the code from any of those cards, or send a wire transfer, you probably won’t get your money back.

If you gave someone the code from an Amazon gift card, log into your Amazon account and contact Amazon Customer Service, or call them at 1-888-280-4331. Tell them what happened and ask if they can disable the card. If you hear from someone who wants you to pay with an Amazon gift card, don’t do it and report it to the FTC.

For more about avoiding scams, read 10 Ways to Avoid Fraud.

Tagged with: gift cards, scam
Blog Topics: 
Money & Credit


I always thought gift cards stopped at about $100. I just looked up gift cards on Amazon and was blown away to find they go as high as $2,000. Wow! I never knew. I understand better now how this scam can work.

I was scammed last year from some one who I thought I was buying a car from through Amazon and I contacted Amazon and they never tired to help get my money back, I sent them the emails and everything and no one helped me so I was out of 750 dollars and nobody cared

I found these gift card scams on laptops in Amazon. I started calling Amazon to complain but the scammers kept showing up a new sellers. I worked for a month to get Amazon to get rid of these people but they still kept showing up. I don't know why Amazon isn't more pro-active in dealing with scams that are so obvious but probably still get too many people to give them their money.

Thank you for this very important information.

Somehow this doesn't not surprise me but I have good reason to catch the 'Amazon' related mention.

Over this holiday, an imposter posed as an AT&T Rep offering a bundle deal. In order to get the deal, we were asked to pay two months up front, purchase an Amazon gift card in the amount of $300, call them back and pay over the phone using the gift card. WE DID NOT COMPLY!

I was scammed in June last year with DirectTV and Amazon. I got caught because the scammers new my account number from DirectTV. They told me that it was a promotion of Amazon, and if i bought a $ 300 card from Amazon, i would get 6 months free DirectTV and a $ 100 Visa card from Amazon. They asked me to purchase the card from any store, which i did. When i realized that i was scammed, i called DirectTV, not much help from them. Then I called Amazon, having kept the card, to trace where the card was used. The reply from Amazon was that they can only trace cards bought by them. So there you are.....

I just got scammed this same way and I am out $422!

Another scammer recently appeared is parkasen.   com The website looks like A outlet store for "Canada Goose" coats, it is in fact a scammer to steal people credit card money. They use seasonal winds.  com to get the money.

It should be a scam alone if anyone tells you to pay for something using a gift card that doesn't even relate to the company that owns the gift card be it Amazon, iTunes, or any others in that matter.

This is the stupidest thing I've ever read. It pretty much stated if you pay for something, you will not get your money back, and somehow this is a scam?

It's no different than sending somebody money through paypal and then realizing they were never going to give you the item in the first place. It's not the payment methods fault, it was your own stupidity.


WOW! I was looking on offer up an craigslist last week and saw 2 trucks I wanted to purchase. Both Sellers told me to contact Amazon Insurance and pay thru them. 1 reason was he was going to the military and the other was some sob story about but they needed the money right away which is why both trucks were selling for cheap ($1500 and $2,500). When I asked to see the trucks, test drive and pay in cash, both responded with stating they lived out of state blah blah blah. I decided not to buy as is was sounding more and more like a scam. Glad I read this as this confirms my thoughts that it was a scam. WOW!

I "almost" got involved in an automobile for purchase scam. It was a "too good to be true" scam & when I was asked to pay for the car via EBay, I was positive it was a scam. The internet has such wonderful information if you know how to obtain it. I reported my scam artist to the FTC & I had every single bit of information on her down to her residence address and the name of her husband. She was "allegedly" in the Navy in Kansas, due to report to Alaska and the car was already prepared for shipment. She already had my email address from prior communications. I called her on her scam and told her I will find her name, address, phone number and I will report to anybody who accepted such complaints. Everyday I emailed her with one piece of information as I got closer to her in Arizona. Traced her to Arizona, her County, her City, and finally her address and phone numbers. She's in real estate and licensed with the Arizona DRE. My last email to her contained a picture from g her. People put so much personal info on social media it's easy to find people. I'm in California, she gave me her address in Kansas & I tracked her to her home. She was advertising this car across the country on Craigslist. She changed her email slightly but her grammer errors were the same. I haven't seen her advertising for sale - hopefully she learned a lesson. I'm sure het husband's employer would be very disappointed in him. I don't recommend to anybody what I did.

NO SHE DIDNT LEARN HER LESSON. I just got scammed by this same person

My husband almost fell for the same thing, it was an enclosed trailer. Was real cheap but located in California, she said that she would cover shipping costs. Red flag! Also, told my husband she could only accept gift cards, another red flag! I tried looking up her ad on Ebay & it was gone! Third red flag! She told him she took down the ad because she thought he was serious about buying it! Who does that after one email & one phone conversation? No money had exchanged hands, thank god!I couldn't find any info on her after.

Hey Kepi....would you be willing to share this information. I think I've recently been had by the same woman. Please let me know.

I fell for the Amazon gift card scam recently. I was planning to buy an expensive Epson Scanner. Under other "new and used" a sell advertised one for $300, a great price. They said to buy an Amazon gift card for the price, which I did. Then I waited for my new scanner from "Q-Store." It never came and after two weeks, I called Amazon. They told me it was probably a scam and chastized me for being stupid (although in different words) for falling for that scam. I reminded them the offer was on their web site, thus they were negligent in allowing it. I'm now waiting to see if Amazon will make this scam good. If not, I will attempt to sue them in small claims court. I will also minimize my purchases on Amazon in the future and will not buy any high-ticket items. Over the past five years, I have spent several thousand dollars with them.

I purchased a stair stepper listed under other sellers with amazon gift cards. Why do they permit scammers to advertise right on their main page?!?! Out 500.00 dollars.

Now they are also using "Amazon Coins." Wish Amazon would police the Marketplace listings and block those that say "Contact me first" or something like that! I still was naive but I emailed the seller *through Amazon*, got an email back from the seller who sent me an invoice that looked legitimate...

I just got scammed for $2500 last week. I am filing a complaint with the FBI and thw FTC.

do you get your money back?

hi, I got scammed 3000. 500 back from Amazon.
I would like to contact anybody who are in the same situation to proess small claim.

Hey happened to me. 2k. I think someone on here traced the woman. I'd sure like to.


I was about to purchase an electric bike for a good price from a private seller on Amazon but there were too many red flags going off and I ended up not buying. When the seller asked for payment in amazon gift cards I googled that and it led me to this page. Feel a bit foolish since I usually think I am too savvy to fall for too good to be true offers but I was on the hook for this one for awhile! Anyway, I called amazon to look into it and report a potential scammer but it was like they weren't even listening to what I was saying about reporting a potential scammer. They kept just telling me to call amazon UK. I finally just said OK and hung up. Definitely a buyer beware world out there. These sellers stated they were from Canada and they emailed me an order number that was through amazon UK.

I'm familiar with this scam already, but what I'm trying to figure out now is what is the end game? Do the scammers use the money to purchase commercial goods for personal use? Do they sell the codes for pennies on the dollar to fourth party buyers? Do they purchase other high end consumer goods to be resold in other markets (over seas)? Is it just personal gain for a couple people or is this typically part of a much larger organized effort?

Scammer placed an ad in our local newspaper, a vehicle for sale. She was in the military and was being deployed. Said she lived in Nebraska and placed the ad in TN. Said the military would ship it to TN. She was "selling" a Silverado Truck for 2000.00. She had an email to contact her, in which she asked for 4 (500) gift cards. We passed on the deal. She had used pictures from an actual car dealership ad.

This happened to me and my husband I found a truck my husband wanted it was 2000 bucks we were thinking this is great she said payments were through amazon and we needed to get 4 amazon gift cards in are situation we did that and she took our money also wanted more money for so called insurance reasons we didn't send that portion but the 2000 we did she said she was in the military in Arizona iits sad to have this happen thank you for posting you story iam not alone I in all of this

same exact circumstance-except I paid 4000. they are now asking for insurance money (3000) half from me, half from the seller. I told them I don't get paid til Friday, trying to keep their interest until I can find anyone that can help me catch them. Any suggestions?

Almost got taken. 2009 Toyota Rave 4 asking price 2000 including shipping! Amazon will be handling the whole transaction. I called the number 888 2955526 they provided to get more information regarding payment etc to double check their invoice says payment in Amazon gift cards. I offered to send bank money order instead. The women said no this is how we accept payments. I did some research and here I am writing my "almost had"

Thanks for sharing your experience. It helps others recognize the signs of a scam.

I responded to a vehicle on Craigslist and was asked to give my email because the seller was at work.
Then I was contacted thru the "payment department". There were no grammar mistakes or punctuation problems. To me it looked genuine. The story seemed real. (Got the car in a nasty divorce it was my husbands only prized possession and she had to move in with her parents with her two kids in Wichita, KS.) Then my husband called the number listed in the invoice. (Which specifically requested amazon gift cards as payment. When I asked if the sale is returned how do I get my money back from the cards they said I would be sent a check for the full amount).
I'm saving everything and will see if I can add the specific info here. Talk about a nasty scam!

Amazon just has problems with their gift card policies. I don’t know if it’s linked to this scam. I wanted to purchase a product with my gift card balance. They issued a credit to my account for a trade in promotion which then blocked my gift card and they charged it to my card. I ask them to fix that then they put the money back and informed me that they set up a payment plan. All very weird. The whole purchase was only $59. The gift card was issued by them and so was the credit. Used hours of my time. All very weird.

just found out thru this page that I was getting ready to be scammed! thanks for the info Amazon

You might also want to avoid paying for something with eBay's Buyer Protection Program. The scam might say something like: If you're interested in purchasing the car just reply me your full name, full address and phone number, so I can notify eBay. Once that is done, they will contact you in the next 24 hours to explain the entire procedure. Yea this is a scam.

I almost got scammed for $1500. Car was posted on FB Marketplace. The woman responded asking for my email, which I provided. Then I got this long email saying how her husband died a month ago from a heart attach and she’s selling the car because of bad memories.
Here’s her email”Hello there,

My car is in great shape & immaculate condition and I’m the original owner.2008 HONDA ACCORD EX-L with 6 cylinder engine 133.322 miles it's automatic runs on gasoline.I have a clear title and the price is firm, $1.500. The car it brings me sad memories so that’s the reason I want to sell it asap.After my husband died 1 month ago (he had a heart attack), my daughter and I decided to moved with my parents in Lawrence KS trying to start a new life.I want to use Amazon's Service for the safety of both of us so if you’re interested in purchasing the car just email me with your full name, P.o. Box or address including the zip code and phone number, so I can notify Amazon that you are selected as my possible buyer and they will contact you to explain the entire procedure.
have a good one”.

I emailed her saying it was a scam and she never responded.
Be Ware!!!

Ardent Service Inc Survey Program??? Got an e mail from this company wanting to know if I want to make $ doing surveys at local stores while purchasing items and really snooping on the stores performance. So I signed up and today got a “bank check” in the mail for $2,435.07 and was told to deposit it right away. Also to note that $348 was my compensation for buying $2100. In e bay gift cards and then send them text of the front and back of the card after I peeled off the sticker. Also get all the info of the cashier and store so I could report everything to them. If I did this job immediately I would get another $200 payment. This sound so wrong on so many levels. I’m going to hold on to this stuff and not cash it or do anything else and see what they do...Has anyone come across this?

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