Kailoa, Hawaii – If you are traveling on vacation to Hawaii or are in Kona, you might be thinking of an expensive souvenir you might want to keep.
Here’s what you should know about gift-buying scams and where to avoid them.
Gift-buys can take advantage of the system that allows you to withdraw money from a Visa, Mastercard, Discover, American Express, Discover Card or other card without an additional transaction fee.
You can do so on the airline’s website or at any airport check-in desk.
The scammer will ask you to select a payment method (e.g. cash, check, credit card) and then demand payment.
If you don’t have the funds, he’ll then ask you for your email address and password.
He’ll then call you to request your payment to be transferred to another account, typically an American Express card.
He may even try to get you to agree to a payment schedule that will get your money to him.
Once you agree, he’s ready to proceed with the transfer.
The fraudster may then send you a letter requesting payment, saying you can expect your funds to be credited to another American Express account or other account in the next 24 hours.
If your credit card company does not allow you to send the money, he can use your personal information to contact you, offering you an opportunity to make another purchase, or to get a refund of your money.
This scam is similar to the “credit card swiping” scam that the FBI has dubbed “Ponzi scheme.”
A typical gift-spoofing scam involves asking you to provide your credit or debit card information and then demanding payment from you for a transaction.
You’ll be presented with a fake account and be directed to a website where you can create an account with an American Airlines, Delta or other airline.
The scammers will tell you that they are authorized to do so by American Airlines and Delta.
Once they’re satisfied that the transaction is legitimate, they’ll ask you questions about your credit and debit card history and then transfer the funds to an American or Delta account.
Once your funds are transferred, you can check the status of the transaction on your account.
It will show that your card has been credited to an account of another company, usually another credit card.
The payment should be credited and your card charged off.
If a scammer gets hold of your bank or credit card, he or she can use the funds for other purposes.
In this scenario, the fraudster will ask for your name, address, phone number, email address, and credit card number.
The funds will be sent to a new American or a Delta account, with the account number being added to the account balance on the original American or one of its subsidiaries.
A gift-trading scam involves tricking you into thinking that the money you’re receiving is from the airline and that you should give it to the airline for free.
In fact, the airline is the real culprit.
The airline will tell your scammer that you’re being asked to send a gift card to the American Airlines account.
The fraudulent account will then transfer your funds into an American account.
After a while, you’ll receive the card and a refund.
A “sting” gift-selling scam is when the scammers pretend to be a company or organization that offers services, such as travel vouchers, gift cards or even airline meals.
You may be asked to give them your phone number and email address.
They will then call and try to persuade you to make a purchase.
The company will ask to see your credit cards and verify that you have the necessary funds to pay for the gift.
This will result in the scammed person sending you money to a fake company or airline account.
If the scumbag is able to use your information and your email to contact your family or friends, the scum is likely trying to trick you into giving up valuable information about yourself.
This can lead to serious consequences, including losing your personal credit card information or personal data being released to the scammer.
If this scam doesn’t work, you may want to contact the FBI for further advice.
There are no federal laws that address gift-grafting scams, so it’s up to you to report these types of scams to authorities if you suspect that you’ve been duped into giving away your personal data or credit information.
There’s no such thing as a free ride.
The only way to ensure that the scammer or scammers don’t get your personal or financial information is to report the scam to your local police department.
If possible, report the incident to the FBI or other federal agency.
The FBI has a website with more information on the types of fraud and scams that can be perpetrated by fraudsters and how to protect yourself from them.