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Local store aims to spot would-be victims of gift card scams

Many like to think that we live in a world where everyone is kind, honest and are there to help us. While there are good people in the world, unfortunately, there are still people who are looking to take advantage of others.

This is all too true when it comes to the most recent string of scams happening in the area. There have been a couple of residents who have been receiving phone calls from scammers telling them to purchase gift cards. The reasons to purchase these gift cards can vary greatly.

One example is that the phone caller tells the person that their grandchild is in trouble and the grandparent needs to buy hundreds of dollars in gift cards in order to get the grandchild out of trouble.

Many trusting elderly individuals are so concerned about their grandchild that they don’t take the time to question the person on the other end.

Luckily, for the few residents who this has been happening to, the staff at Dollar General have been trained to handle situations just like this.

The staff have been the ones who have been noticing an increase in the scams recently. It has been the staff that has helped several Lennox residents from getting scammed. Dollar General employee June Van Hill was one of those employees.

Van Hill stated, “We have had to tell customers to hang up the phone, that they were being scammed.”

Van Hill gave a few of the signs that someone is being scammed into buying gift cards. One sign is that the customers come in while they are on the phone. Most people purchasing gift cards aren’t on the phone trying to figure out which specific gift card they need, unless it is a husband who forgot what his wife told him to buy. Another sign is that amount of gift cards the person tries to purchase. If a person is trying to purchase a large quantity of gift cards, that is another sign that they are being scammed.

If by chance the scammer does get the customer to buy the gift cards and they make it past the staff at a Dollar General or any other retail store that sells gift cards, the scammer will then ask for the customer to read them the gift card numbers over the phone. The scammers tend to use gift cards because it is quicker and easier to get the funds from the cards.

Some tips to keep yourself and those you love safe when it comes to this type of scam includes educating those that you know. Remember that a government agency will not ask for payment in the form of gift cards. For grandparents who are concerned about their grandchild, remember that if someone really is in trouble, they will receive one phone call and it is most likely another family member who will get in contact with you before an officer from a jail.

The best advice is, when in doubt, ask.

The staff at most stores have been trained to spot these kinds of scams. They do not want someone to get scammed out of hundreds or thousands of dollars every time this happens.

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