HARConnect

Safety Alert: Gift Card Scam

HAR has learned that at least two REALTORS® in Montgomery County have recently been targets of a very convincing gift card scam, so we urge all members to be vigilant with incoming phone calls. The perpetrators of the scam will have done their research on you and, when they call, will mention the names of people you know and will cite examples of your personal activities, such as community service. They will also know your business practices. In the most recent case, they knew that the agent’s office had relocated. They call REALTORS® claiming that there is an outstanding warrant for your arrest and will outline specific instructions for turning yourself in. They have also asked agents to text them a photo of their driver’s license. They apparently have the sounds of a police scanner playing in the background to add to the realism that they work in law enforcement. Next, the perpetrators will ask that you purchase gift cards from a retailer in specific amounts and will then have you provide the numbers and security codes for the cards, which essentially turns free money over to them.

Law enforcement experts advise not engaging with these scammers when they call and to report the calls immediately to local police. They say that authorities serving a warrant will never call and ask anyone to turn themselves in.

Remember that HAR has a tool to verify the identity of someone that may be contacting you for the first time. It’s VerifiedUser. Learn more about this important safety offering and sign up today at www.har.com/verifieduser

HAR Communications Dept.

4 comments

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  • Wow! I experienced this in 2017, I pretended to be slow in understanding. They were very good at what they were doing. They wanted me to hurry up and purchase a Gift card, or they would send the police to arrest me. I told them to send my Son, who was a Sheriff. They got aggravated with me and hung up on me.

  • Yes, I was also a target of the gift card scammer. They pretend to be your broker and ask for a favor to get a gift card for them to give to their client. I did report it to the police.

  • I received the same scam call last week. I kept him on the phone for 17 minutes as he gave me detailed instructions on where to go to turn myself in. I think he was really getting in his zone going on and on. FYI Federal Marshalls do not hand deliver supoenas to serve on grand juries. This scammer needs to be stopped. I wonder how much money he has scammed from innocent people so far! Unfortunately there is just not enough resources to stop this guy much less the violent crimes. Stay safe !

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