Scammers Weekly: ‘Currency of fraud’

(Southside Daily/ Courtesy of Pixabay)
(Southside Daily/ Courtesy of Pixabay)

Southside Daily has collaborated with AARP to raise awareness about scams people need to watch out for.

A scam will be featured every Wednesday, so be sure to always check and be in the know.

Here’s this week’s scam:

You see them in just about every store you shop in: colorful kiosks filled with gift cards. Gift cards for everything from coffee, to movies to video games.

What you don’t realize is those colorful cards can also be the “currency of fraud.”

Gift cards are one of the top ways today’s scammers steal money from their victims, according to the AARP.

They convince their targets to buy gift cards and share the numbers and security codes.  Once shared, the scammer drains the value of the card and disappears. Keep this in mind: if someone asks you to pay for something by gift card, it’s a scam.

Visit the AARP Fraud Watch Network by clicking here or call the AARP Fraud Watch Network Helpline at 877-908-3360 to report a scam or get help if you’ve fallen victim.

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John Mangalonzo ( is the managing editor of Local Voice Media’s Virginia papers – WYDaily (Williamsburg), Southside Daily (Virginia Beach) and HNNDaily (Hampton-Newport News). Before coming to Local Voice, John was the senior content editor of The Bellingham Herald, a McClatchy newspaper in Washington state. Previously, he served as city editor/content strategist for USA Today Network newsrooms in St. George and Cedar City, Utah. John started his professional journalism career shortly after graduating from Lyceum of The Philippines University in 1990. As a rookie reporter for a national newspaper in Manila that year, John was assigned to cover four of the most dangerous cities in Metro Manila. Later that year, John was transferred to cover the Philippine National Police and Armed Forces of the Philippines. He spent the latter part of 1990 to early 1992 embedded with troopers in the southern Philippines as they fought with communist rebels and Muslim extremists. His U.S. journalism career includes reporting and editing stints for newspapers and other media outlets in New York City, California, Texas, Iowa, Utah, Colorado and Washington state.