Data from the Federal Trade Commission shows 40,000 people reported losing $148 million in gift cards to scammers during the first nine months of 2021.
According to a news release from the FTC, gift cards have been the most frequently reported payment method for fraud since 2018.
When it comes to the most common gift cards that scammers ask people to buy, the FTC says Google Play, Apple, eBay and Walmart remain popular. However, the FTC says, Target gift cards are the top choice in 2021.
“If you find yourself heading to the store to buy gift cards because someone on the phone told you so, stop,” the FTC said in its news release. “No matter who calls, texts, or emails you telling you to pay with a gift card, it is always a scammer. The government and legitimate businesses will never call you demanding payment with a gift card.”