How NOT to use a gift card

Thinking about giving a fancy new gadget as a holiday gift? Or maybe there’s something on your wish list that Santa forgot to bring? If so, you might be tempted by an ad for high-tech at a low price. But if a merchant other than Amazon.com asks you to pay using an Amazon gift card, it’s probably a scam. In fact, Amazon’s gift card terms don’t allow you to use Amazon gift cards to make payments anywhere besides amazon.com and a few specific sites.

Here’s how the scam happens: You discover a website that sells new HDTVs, GPS devices, and other gizmos for deeply discounted prices. You haven’t heard of the site so you do some research. You find a few reviews from satisfied customers, so you go for it.

During checkout, you’re instructed to purchase an Amazon gift card and then hand over the gift card information as payment. Unfortunately, if you do, you’ll be out the money, and you won’t get anything in return.

These scammers know that bad reviews scare people away, so they may post a few positive reviews about the site. They shut down the site before people post complaints — usually in less than a month — and open under a new name somewhere else.

Buying an Amazon gift card to make a payment is NOT the same as using Amazon Payments, which provides some protections for buyers. Amazon Payments is a feature that allows Amazon members to pay for merchandise on other websites by logging in and using a payment method they’ve stored on their Amazon account. For example, if you use a credit card stored in your Amazon Payments account, you’re still using your credit card to make the purchase, and you get certain protections when you use a credit card. You don’t have the same protections when you pay with a gift card — virtually or physically. It could be tough to trace the money or get it back if something goes wrong. Of course, that’s not a problem if you’re sending the gift card to a friend or family member as a gift.

When shopping online, consider using a payment method that offers protections if you don’t get what you paid for. Check out this video for more online shopping tips:

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

Comments

Happy New Year!

i have lost money by scamm

I agree with you. If you are given a gift card to someone that’s not a good idea.

Vogme.com is an online company that operates exactly like this. BEWARE:Do not buy from them. I was duped and never received my merchandise. Now they won't answer my email inquiries as to the status of my order. I'm out the money and the merchandise.

Thank you for sharing your experiences. Unfortunately, we cannot address complaints if they are submitted through the blog comments. Please report your experience at ftc.gov/complaint.

I was looking for a Panasonic camera, all prices where close to $799.00 found a web site selling it for $584.00 includes shipping. The site said you could use your credit card, but at check out it sent you to Amazon to buy a gift card, I didn't bite. Vergo.com is site address

www.Hearme.co is a scam company. They promise you to promote your artist's platform, and finally not only they took me twice the fees, and did not fill the service, and did not gave me the guarantee - money back as mentionned on the site.They just answerred two emails, and then: silence. Lost of money, time and energy. Bad feelings. Horrible experience. Do not use this company: www.hearme.co

Thanks for sharing. Its nice blog

Check out avadars.com. It is EXACTLY as described in this article! They show pictures of credit cards they accept but when you try to buy something they tell you to buy an amazon.com gift card for the price of the purchase!

Please report this to the FTC at ftc.gov/complaint. The information you give will go into a database that law enforcement uses for investigations.

Blog comments don't go in the database.

I notice a good price for a 50inch tv HDTV for 300.00. When It came to make my purchase it tells me my order is pending until I purchase a amazon gift card. Skeptical avadars.com is the website.

This is useful information for a complaint.

Please report this to the FTC at ftc.gov/complaint. The information you give will go into a database that law enforcement uses for investigations.

Blog comments don't go in the database.

Thanks for sharing this nice article it have some great useful blog....

I was bit by a listing in Amazon Market Place that actually had a link embedded in the product description on Amazon. Using the link they send what appears to be an Amazon order number and confirmation which asks for payment using Amazon gift card. DON'T FALL FOR IT!

I recently replied to a listing on Craigs list to purchase an iPhone.I went back and forth a few times closing the deal.When the person asked for an Amazon gift card, I was a little suspicious.My investigation on line led me here. Thank you for posting, they didn't get me! Buyer beware!!!

Just got the same scam, looking into Jet Drum Sander on Amazon, third party seller had a brand new $2500 sander for $710 including shipping. Came back with an official looking e-mail from Amazon Payment Marketplace and a link to buy gift cards, ltd.gros m. I guess if it looks to good to be true. Thanks for the heads up.

Scammer posting bogus item using some poor legit Amazon Marketplace seller's name/account. Item lists new for $2200 and he was selling "New" for $800. Only caveat is he emails you what appears to be an Invoice "from Amazon" with instructions on paying by sending him the equivalent amount using Amazon gift cards that you are supposed to buy from any store. A quick call to Amazon confirms the order number is bogus, the transaction does not appear in your Amazon account, and the email's Domain is bogus as I'm sure is the scammer's name and his domain name's registrant and phone number. Bastards will burn in hell

This article just described what I discovered when I tried to purchase a phone from the website above. When it came to payment time they had some nice videos encouraging to use Amazon Gift cards. Not me!

Thanks for sharing this nice article. I read it completely and get some interesting knowledge from this. I again thanks for sharing such a nice blog.

I received a phone call from Direct TV for a PROMOTION OFFER TO PURCHASE 4 months of Premier service for $79.99 a month for four months or $320.00. I had to purchase an Amazon Gift Card and call a direct TV number which weas 888-407-3735. No knowledge at Direct TV. Lost 320.00.

Soo i was in the market for a laptop lo n behold i find one for $400 but in the amazon listing theres a note and link telling me to send an email to the guy and give him the number listed in the notes. He then told me. The only way to get the deal is if i pay by gift card :/ item Information listed below: Site Found : Amazon Seller : EXcaliberPC Item : MSI GT72VR Dominator PRO-288 Price : $400 ASIN # B01LXFUONT

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