Receive a message from someone you know asking for a favor? You’ll want to think twice before going through with their request.
How it works
Scammers will contact you via text, email or social media, posing as a boss, colleague, friend or family member. They may start the conversation by asking “How are you doing?” or “Are you busy?” before asking for a favor. Being a good colleague and friend, you quickly respond and ask how you can help.
That’s when the scammer will ask you to buy a gift card for them, whether it’s for a birthday or work event, and they will pay you back. Once you buy the gift card, they will ask for the card’s PIN and/or send a photo of the back of the card. Now that the scammer has all of the gift card information, they essentially have that money and it’s nearly impossible to get back.
Avoid the scam
- Verify the sender’s contact information (i.e. email address, phone number, social media account). Reach out directly to the person you’re getting the request from to confirm the story.
- Beware of gift card requests. If a person insists on payment with gift cards, it’s likely a scam. To scammers, gift cards are equivalent to cash and cannot be traced back to them.
If you are a Merrimack customer and are concerned your personal or financial information was compromised, please call us directly at 603.225.2793.