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

Don’t pay for a car with Amazon gift cards. Ever.
January 6, 2017
by Amy Hebert

Consumer Education Specialist, FTC

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 Amazon.com. 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.

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